Album art for “Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does”
Kofi Stone, having an attention to detail, and relatability.
You ever hear music that feels refreshing? Like it was just what you needed at that time. That’s what happened to me last week when I found a link for Kofi Stone’s debut album Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does.
There’s something about jazzy, boom bap beats that hits me. When I heard those opening notes then Kofi spitting ‘streams coming down my eyes think I’m losing faith, but God is always on time no he’s never late’ I knew I was invested. Over 15 tracks, Kofi presents us his life and his come up, warts and all. This isn’t a flashy album, he isn’t bragging about how much better his life is than yours, instead it is an honest portrayal of an artist trying to make it. The title of the album reflects that, for artists there is a long period of nobody caring until you start to make it, then become the cool thing, and then everyone does.
On Dirty Airforces he opens with the line “sat up on the train with my meal deal,” which is pretty much the opposite of glamorous. This attention to detail creates a relativity and warmth within Kofi’s music. Many of us have sat on a train, meal deal we bought from WH Smith, overpriced but you think you got a bargain. The song itself chronicles how hard we work to make it, the chorus “I’m in some dirty Air Forces, keep it stepping until my mother pay the mortgage.” For many of us this is the dream, to get to a point where our mum’s no longer need to work and can live debt free.n
Kofi Stone in visual “Same Old”
The album is almost broken up into sections, chronicling different life moments. The ramifications of divorce and the effect it had on Kofi and his sister on ‘Rodney’s Place,’ is partnered with ‘Stepdad,’which covers the effect a new man coming in to the household. The exciting beginnings of a relationship to the aftermath of a break up are dealt with over 4 songs, After Hours, Talk About Us, ‘A Beautiful Tragedy’ and then ‘Its Ok To Cry’. Kofi is rapping about powerful situations and interlacing them with lyrics to provide that relatability. Again it’s the little details that makes these songs stand out for me. Like one After Hours, the chorus says “Its getting late but I still want to speak, because you’ve been on my mind all week,” like who hasn’t been there? OR on ‘Its Ok to Cry’ he describes the love that him and his girl had, “I would always have a Mars, you would always have a Twix.” Small details like this might seem mundane, but they in fact help to paint a powerful picture. Later on in the song he raps “You don’t write the same amount of kisses in your texts,” when in a relationship, little things like this can be indications of problems.
This attention to detail also helps on songs like Hugh and Lost to the Streets. Hugh is a storytelling song about Hugh who starts gambling. Kofi describes Hugh perfectly, allowing you to get caught up in his story. Lost to the Streets is told from the point of view of an old friend of Kofi, speaking to him from prison. The song sees the friend reminisce on the old times they had together, with lines like “hows your sister doing, I bet shes growing up, remember when we used to joke we’d beat her boyfriend up,” those are the types of conversations that you have with friends when you are younger. Lines like that help make it even more heartbreaking when you hear of the friend’s predicament in prison.
On the skit “Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does” Kofi describes in detail a busking situation he was in, how all it took was one person to pay attention to get a crowd gathering. I’m sure there are a lot of people paying attention now.
Words by Daniel David