k-os

Raised by Jehovah's Witness parents in locales as disparate as Toronto and Trinidad, it was no surprise that Kheaven Brereton, aka k-os (pronounced: chaos) was a bit different than your average MC. A singer as well as a rhymer, and a producer to boot, k-os proved on his debut album, Exit (Astralwerks, 2002), that being preachy didn't have to mean being boring. The LP stood out dramatically with lush, instrument-driven arrangements to go with the traditional hip-hop elements of drum programming, samples, and the like. Acoustic guitar and piano marked the single "Heaven Only Knows"; dub and reggae influences tinged "Freeze." Many of the tracks found the rapper singing, so much so that an argument could be raised about the genre to which k-os in fact belonged. And that was just the way he liked it. A tour to support Exit stretched from late 2002 through summer 2003; the dates saw k-os performing with such hip-hop luminaries as India.Arie and Floetry. Exit went on to pick up International Album of the Year at the 2003 Source Awards. K-os returned in September 2004 with the equally ambitious Joyful Rebellion, a record whose sales hit almost double-platinum levels. After writing and performing "Burning to Shine" with the CBC Orchestra (a process that was documented on the network) in 2005, k-os released Atlantis: Hymns for Disco the following year. His fourth album, Yes!, was released in 2008. The double-disc Black on Blonde followed in 2013 with guest appearances from Gym Class Heroes vocalist Travie McCoy and "Sunglasses at Night" singer Corey Hart.
Johnny Loftus, Rovi

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Discography

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