According to his bio, Nigerian-born Boston rapper EK has been releasing music since 2008. And from the sound of his new EP, he’s still hungry to make his presence felt. A passionate if not always coherent project, “Hands of Time” is anchored by the fiery political cut “Dress My Fears,” on which he blasts racists and bigots with a blistering urgency naturally amplified by the recent events in Charleston, S.C.; stepping into character, his raps underscore the chilling implications of racial profiling (“The [expletive] at the counter, with the hoodie on / where he walking to, he’s probably got a gun / . . . he look really suspicious, his name is Trayvon”). It’s a shame that the track is stuck with an awkward electro-soul chorus. The rest of the songs fit a similar pattern of mostly good material held back slightly by a few strange choices. “Honeymoon” has a sexy, glossy bounce, but tired lyrics, while the murky grind of “Play to Win” loses steam about halfway through. The outro “Blvd of Sirens” is the most balanced cut, EK’s autobiographical lyrics fitting nicely with the atmospheric instrumental. More of that, please. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “Blvd of Sirens”Martín Caballero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_el_caballero.