Photo by the brilliant Bryan Allen Lamb
One of my most anticipated projects of 2017, Just Like The Movies proved to be as unique and imaginative as I expected. Originally, I intended to showcase the powerful string of singles released by Kami, the multi-talented artist of the Chicago creative collective, SAVEMONEY. However, with a release date in sight, I decided to prolong my musings and experience Just Like the Movies in its entirety.
I can’t help but feel this was a lost track from the Drive soundtrack. Remember Me featuring Knox Fortune.
My first window into Kami’s discography presented itself in the form of Leather Corduroys. Comprised of Kami and Joey Purp, the duo’s project, Season, can only be described as the epicenter of a multi-genre, Venn diagram. This sonic fluidity proved to be an element that translated over to Just Like the Movies. This became apparent in the first 3 singles, HOME MOVIES, FOUNDATION, and RIGHT NOW; all which had drastic jumps in both tone, delivery, and content. The rest of the album proved to be just as schizophrenic as Season.
My favourites (at the time of writing this):
HOME MOVIES, the lead single, convinced me the album would follow the track’s bouncy, synth-heavy direction. The accompanying music video was a pastel scene out of an 80’s high school cult classic. I’m half-expecting a cinematic experience for every song now. Check out the video for some familiar SAVEMONEY cameos.
FOUNDATION finds Kami testing the moral integrity of himself and those around him; a last defense when the situation can end in life or death. But while the song functions on a micro level as a glimpse into Kami’s inner conflicts, its meaning can also be extrapolated and applied on a grander scale. Personally, I find the song parallels the current political conditions of North America — the song dropped just a day before the United States federal election. Kami voices his thoughts unapologetically before a moment of silence for everything that has been lost.
Like the singles leading up to its release, the songs of Just Like the Movies feel like different scenes in Kami’s ongoing narrative. While each track delivers a specific message, multiple listens reveal their many throughlines: relationships, both romantic and platonic, the state of Kami’s surrounding environment, and the circumstances dictating his life in the spotlight. The project keeps a very singular perspective. Kami takes it upon himself to narrate much of his story on his own. The few features are reserved for fellow SAVEMONEY members, with the vocals on PARENTAL GUIDANCE (INTERLUDE) starring “Everybody” and Kami’s mother. Additionally, SAVEMONEY fans should be excited to hear the title track JUST LIKE THE MOVIES, a posse cut the likes of which we haven’t seen since Steamer, Seppuku, or Red Kool-Aid (to our knowledge).
Lastly, we can’t forget the hard work of vocalist/producer extraordinaire Knox Fortune. You may recognize the name from his previous work with Leather Corduroys, his guest spot on Chance the Rapper’s All Night, or his recently-debuted single, Help Myself. The young artist served as executive producer for Just Like The Movies and lends his voice to the opener, THE BOTH OF US. Having thoroughly enjoyed both Kami’s Just Like The Movies and Joey Purp’s iiiDrops, I can’t wait for the two to reconvene with Knox for a new Leather Corduroys project.