HKC is a rapper, musician and Hip-hop artists from Long Island. His debut EP “Don’t Hate the Game” released in 2021 is short with only four tracks but manages to pack a punch. The authenticity in his writing comes from lived experience and his lyrics add a unique perspective to the larger narrative of Hip-hop.

The EP starts off with the first track “Days and Nights” that has urgent string work and layered vocals. The upbeat 808s keep it chill without letting things get heavy and HKC raps with a husk in his voice at a speed that is not too fast, adding to the overall introductory feeling of the cut. Lyrically he explores the hard work that goes into the game; the “Game” as mentioned in the title being an important motif on the album. We transition rather abruptly to the next track “Hate the Player” that has heavier percussion and some clever writing with lines like “Whatever come from the soil ends”. The rapping on this track brings HKC’s personal style to the forefront where he manages to switch flow with ease.

The whistle tones, 808 percussion and strings are the foundational elements of production with “Elevate” highlighting the rapping speed of HKC. The ad-libs on this track add a lot to it in my opinion. The transition to “Who Better?” is seamless and while HKC maintains his speed of rapping, the track is successful in bringing things to an end with its climatic ambience. The brief beat switch on this track was particularly enjoyable and the background vocals felt like a nice way to end the short EP.

The writing by HKC is motivational and self-assuring ensuring a boost of energy to anyone who needs it!