Kay the Aquanaut is an emcee from Saskatoon, best known for his work with producers Factor Chandelier and Maki. Just last year, he released an album with Maki called Yeah, Riot! He now starts off 2019 by teaming up with Maki for their third album together, Earth Station 7.

Depending on where you know Kay from, and which albums you’ve listened to, you might think of him as a big personality, one that can really rock the crowd and entertain the masses. This is true, but that’s just one side of him. While he’s certainly released some absolute bangers in his career, he’s also released some really moving and intimate hip hop as well. That’s what you’re getting from Earth Station 7. Maki has been making some really moody, abstract beats for years now, and it always seems to bring out this side of Kay the Aquanaut when they work together. It’s the type of album that sounds great when you’re listening to it alone, maybe on your headphones, or maybe on a long drive, somewhere where you can give the album your full attention and develop a personal relationship with the music. Kay is opening up about personal relationships, his hopes and fears, and also going deep on some philosophical ponderings. Because of this, it’s an album that feels like you’re in conversation with it as a listener, and one that you can listen to over and over, picking up on a certain line or piece of production, and pick it apart and think about the possible meanings.

Kay the Aquanaut and Maki have been making music together for a few years now, and they’ve developed some terrific chemistry along the way. Maki creates a really intimate atmosphere with his production that is subtly challenging, and Kay really picks up what Maki is laying down and runs with it. The result is a deeply personal and interesting album that doesn’t sound like a lot of other hip hop albums right now.