Denizen Kane (née Dennis Kim) is a fusion of worlds: Korean/American, Chicago/Oakland, Poet/MC, and it shows in his music. His scratchy, sing-songy vocals make it hard to avoid comparisons to fellow Oakland MC Lyrics Born, but unlike LB, Denizen Kane doesn’t shy away from the heavy topics of politics (“Patriot Act”), daily struggle (“Another Life”), and death (“Junie’s Song”). He somehow works that dichotomy into a polished album, thanks to the nuanced tracks laid down by fellow members of Kane’s Typical Cats crew (Maker, DJ Natural, et al). Remarkably, there are no tracks talking about hip-hop; so, the one drawback is that Kane’s pointed lyrics downplay his personality.
While Tree City is a solid effort and worth a listen (and buy), it doesn’t address the question, “Who is Denizen Kane?”