Ka is a firefighter by profession, but on "Peace Akhi" he's a "Rap Game William Blake as printmaker poet, creating a whole weird world and language no one can fully figure out," as SPIN's own Brandon Soderberg put it. That enigma only helps the& Brownsville MC/producer on his Essential new album, The Night's Gambit, which may very well be 2013's best hip-hop platter to date.
"Peace Akhi" is an uncompromising track with a beat made of warm static, spare hand-drumming, and bassy piano hits that sound like a clocktower's clang. Overtop, Ka unravels his mad monk mutterings and distorted street-rap stories with occasional overdubs and samples from an officiated chess match. Naturally the accompanying video (via Stereogum) features the aforementioned game, though one man playing himself in a gritty and slightly surreal urban landscape.