Last week, Montreal native KAYTRANADA dropped the anticipated counterpart to his well-received album, 99.9%.
The project, aptly named 0.01%, is a ninety-minute mix comprised of, “beats, loops, remixes, and sounds made during the process of 99.9%.” The mix is done in the style of a live DJ set, with KAYTRANADA and his brother Lou Phelps hollering ad-libs and making shout outs throughout. At one point KAYTRANADA yells, “Free Freddie Gibbs!”—a reference to the LA-based rapper’s arrest on sexual assault charges earlier this year. Other shout outs were made to Mick Jenkins, Lou Phelps, and Pomo (the last two appearing on KAYTRANADA’s label HW&W).
The mix itself is a motley of sound bites, snippets, and quasi-remixes, all carrying KAYTRA’s distinct sound, mixing raw drums and echoing synths. Some ‘songs’ only last thirty seconds and others, like a flip of Chance the Rapper’s “All Night” (originally produced by KAYTRANADA) last the length of a full song. The mix is by no means smooth; it’s choppy and unedited, sloppy and uncut. If 99.9% was the masterpiece, 0.01% is the scraps of paper and sketches leftover.
It’s hard to think KAYTRA wanted it any other way. When else does an artist get to show off the blood sweat and tears that went into an album? Often, the closest a fan gets to an artist’s process are posthumous “album” releases, scraped together by labels or managers in the aftermath of an untimely death. Here is something more authentic: the artist’s method, confirmed, authorized, and published by the artist himself.
The music itself is incredible. Some of it is eye-rollingly standard of KAYTRANADA’s more recent sound: familiar and light, and definitely digestible. Other samples harken back to his days as KAYTRADAMUS: dark, gritty, and almost frightening. It’s unclear if he will release any of the snippets in full. To do so, it would almost take away from the authenticity of 0.01%’s release. But goddamn, some of those songs need to be longer. –C.V.