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By : Shamus Hill

4 min read

After unveiling his first single of the year at the end of April, Mattapan’s Kadeem is quick to offload another round of meticulous raps – this time with a 3-song EP titled RUBBER MEETS ROAD. Produced by achille, byJ., and August Fanon, this body of work stands with strength amongst Kadeem’s already formidable discography. His music is a mixture of profound reflections about life, noble messaging related to perseverance, and enthralling references to Haitian and Sports culture. This Boston native possesses some of the strongest writing skills in the city, and there’s never a shortage of depth when it comes to his work.

Resting just north of nine minutes in total runtime, RUBBER MEETS ROAD embodies the sentiments described above under a singular project. “Breathe It Slow” is the first track on the EP, and is one that quickly lays the foundation for this tape. Chicago’s achille provides Kadeem with a captivating canvas atop which he raps about resilience and staying the course through the storm. “First To Win” is the second offering off of RUBBER MEETS ROAD, and features production from LA’s byJ. After letting the beat breathe for the first 30 seconds, Deem unearths an onslaught of rhymes that’ll surely put a grimace on your face. One of the stanzas that especially stands out is:

“Keep a couple shooters tucked, and a nickel in the sleeve, I’m about a dollar so I’m impartial to the 95, I’m on that same highway while I’m peeling through the chalky lines”.

Capping off RUBBER MEETS ROAD is “Carbon Attachments”. Repurposing some old school Japanese music and embellishing the already-prevalent jazz undertones is August Fanon. He’s contributed to a wide array of discography during his tenure in music, however this collaboration in particular is noteworthy. Kadeem’s multi-faceted artistry is wonderfully displayed on “Carbon Attachments”, and is truly the perfect appetizer for those who want a taste of his music.

The level of depth displayed here isn’t something that’s brought about by luck, but rather the result of immense care and attention. Kadeem’s ability to construct his discography is well-worth of praise, and following a listen through RUBBER MEETS ROAD you’ll assuredly feel the same way.

—Shamus Hill

Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #149 August 2022


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