Chicago emcee and poet, K’Valentine is here for a reason and nearly two years after a near fatal car accident on Chicago’s famed I-94 highway, where she miraculously not only survived, but avoided any serious injury, she has put out here debut album, the appropriately titled, Here for a Reason.
Released more towards the beginning of the year in April, I recently got a chance to fully listen to the album and it’s definitely worth the money. Especially if you want something that is very inspiring, motivational and uplifting. Unlike most of her female counterparts like Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma and Cardi B, who rap more about turning up, being sex symbols and the whole nine that get very over saturated and nearly forced down our ears a lot, Valentine is a huge break from that. As her lyrics and records are more positively thoughtful and uplifting. More so in the vein of old-school great female emcees like MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah, among others. Lyte and Hill along with the late great, Tupac Shakur being among her biggest influences.
You can really see that influence on the very first record, She, where over a bouncy and riding production, Valentine spits vicious rhymes about being able to do things on her own, in an almost female-empowerment type way. That’s followed by the oddly placed, Atlanta, where despite being a proud Chicago native, she sings about pride for the ATL and in what seems like an almost too forced or overdone record. The only one I don’t really like on the album, the chorus is what really makes me not stand it and how cringe worthy it is.
Switching over to the BJ the Chicago Kid assisted, That’s Real, Valentine starts to show her real love for her hometown of Chicago with a man being metaphorically used again to represent what’s real. That perfectly segues into the very smooth Scotty ATL featured, Foreplay. Arguably one of the best records on the whole album, it has K’ over smooth production spitting smooth rhymes about her desire to metaphorically, “make love to some Hip-Hop.” She then shows Pac’s influence yet again on Family, where she uses his voice for part of the record. As she raps about the influence her family has on her to motivate her to get out and do better for them and even the family members that try discouraged her from doing so.
The album then starts to really move into the more powerful and motivational records like, Us, Loudest Whisper, Hands High and Higher Power. Us, with her mentor, Talib Kweli, showing more of her poetic origins, with her recitation on the powerful record. The very inspiring and motivational Kendra Ross featured, Loudest Whisper really uplifting women to do and aspire to be better than what they are mostly portrayed to be. While over bouncy production, Hands High, finds Valentine giving more inspiring and motivational uplifting lyrics to go out and achieve your goals. Especially for the women who were told that they couldn’t.
The next record, Too Much is easily one of the best records on the album and by far the most emotional. Which finds K’ over the very emotionally driven record, rap about a love that is so hard to maintain and can get lost when feelings get disregarded and another woman moves into the picture, while communication is lacking to allow the other woman in. Ironically enough that perfectly segues into the next record, King featuring Tweet. Which is about a love tthat’s one of a King that Valentine found to match her Queen, she never would have thought she would find.
To close out the album, the Chicago native gives us arguably the two best tracks of the whole album, with Higher Power and Award Shows. The very motivational and inspiring, Higher Power having her spit her most vicious verses so far of her young career. Finding her rapping such hard-hitting rhymes as, “I want the goal, but without selling my soul, n***a. I want my music heard in every state. I’m underground, but got the skills of fvcking heavyweights.” While the latter track is a bit more of an ode to her fans and supporters for how far they’ve already gotten her in her career and being able to convey the very positive and uplifting message she wants to in her passion of music. Thanks largely in part to them and how fortune she’s to be here and doing what she loves. She’s definitely here for a reason and will be so for a long time.