If you haven’t heard the name Kari Faux before, it’s one you should take note of. The Arkansas rapper/singer made a name for herself not too long ago with the song “No Small Talk,” which caught the attention of actor/rapper Childish Gambino, who remixed the song on his mixtape STN MTN and eventually joined her management team. About a year later, Faux’s dropped her next big single “Gahdamn,” and since then she has gone on to record original music for the hit HBO show Insecure.
However, on Faux’s latest EP CRY 4 HELP, instead of attitude-filled, bossy hits like “No Small Talk” and “Gahdamn,” or lighthearted ruminations about faulty relationships on like the ones on her previous project Primary, she offers a deeper, more nuanced look into the artist’s life and psyche. If the title wasn’t clear enough, Faux has was/is going through a lot emotionally. For almost the entirety of the 18 minute runtime, she is at her most vulnerable, detailing loneliness, alienation, drug abuse, depression, and even trauma — including the heart wrenching story of a miscarriage as a teenager on the closing song “LATCH KEY.”
Not to sound cliché, but CRY 4 HELP feels like Faux offering the audience a piece of her soul. Combining elements of soul, hip-hop, and jazz, this project offers a solid dose of substantive, tasteful, and compelling music that leaves listeners wishing there was more.