Jack Carenza - January 18, 2023

Kota the Friend Repurposes Adversity on ‘Lyrics to GO Vol. 4’

Brooklyn’s independent emblem, Kota the Friend, has a knack for taking life’s hardships and repurposing them into golden words. His Lyrics to GO format has redefined the landscape of independent hip-hop through its crisp lyricism and clean visuals.  Positivity, self-growth, independence, and the importance of family are all themes that Kota holds dear and expresses with clarity and distinction.  A trend that holds true on Wednesday’s newest release, Lyrics to GO Vol. 4

“Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4 is the 4th installment of the ‘Lyrics to GO’ album series. This project is about pushing through adversity and embracing a winner’s attitude. It’s also about making peace and accepting the realities of life. This is something that we all have to work on.” – Kota the Friend

And LTGv4 does just that, presenting profound tales of perseverance.  Through weathering the many storms that life throws at us individually and collectively.  

To celebrate the new release, Kota the Friend and his brand fltbys hosted a listening event at Wreckroom in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn last night, where they hosted friends, fellow NYC artists, and national media.  

Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4 

Kota explores the attitude of self-belief through adversity throughout LTGv4, starting the first track, Wales. “Don’t let em take away your soul brotha/Don’t let them demons make you turn against your own brother.” With external forces pulling at us all, Kota reminds us that clinging to family, and self-belief are keys to moving forward in a positive light.  

While production value is always at a premium with Kota, LTGv4 feels extra special in that respect.  From the spiritual keys of Wales to the lofi chords of SHE Pt. 2, to the stripped-down guitar of FIDDLE LEAF, each instrumental almost tells a story of its own.  Stories that are of course supplemented by Kota’s impeccable delivery and lyricism.  Vulture’s jazzy ambiance and rapid-fire flow, and the nostalgic head-nodder Mt. Fuji represent other clear album high points.  

In a recent interview on Athletes, Hip Hop, Motivation hosted by Australian storyteller Rush, Kota describes the impact the Lyrics to GO concept made on his career:   

“Before short-form videos were a thing, and before Tik Tok, I was making these 1-minute videos where I would write a 16-bar verse over a popular beat, or YouTube beat.  I would make this video where I would stand completely still and put the yellow subtitles at the bottom of the videos.  That idea took me from nobody listening to my music, to gaining fans on a weekly basis.”

Kota will release an Official Video for each song over the next 10 weeks, starting with FIDDLE LEAF, which dropped with the project.  The simplest ideas are often the most impactful.  And as Kota’s style and sound continue to evolve, Lyrics to GO Vol. 4 shows that the series is growing with him.