Kojaque isn’t exactly one to stick to convention – he has always defied genre while subverting expectations. Second album ‘Phantom of the Afters’ finds his protagonist Jackie Dandelion quite literally taking flight, ready to land in the UK for a new life that will bring forth a myriad of questions – through the lens of Jackie, Kojaque finds a means to come back to himself and navigate identity, culture, love and a new chapter in life. Throughout it all, he’s honest and upfront, frank and conversational. He paints an image of an artist refusing to be defined easily, as adept at softer vocals over piano beats as he is with a fierce delivery on pounding beats. He’s incendiary at times, mellow and yearning otherwise, but always lit with passion. Enlisting the likes of Biig Piig for ‘WOOF’ and Gotts Street Park on ‘BAMBI’, his journey continues through arguments and revelations alike, deftly traversing the years that have led to this point and the years to come. ‘JOHNNY MACENROE’, featuring Wiki, sees arguably his slickest flow to date, soundtracked by bubbling, bouncing soundscapes. ‘RAINY DAYS’ finds him more soulful, longing for the sun to break and things to ease somewhat. ‘PEEKABOO’ is arguably a highlight, a moment of loss and loneliness made easier to swallow by breezy vocals. By the album’s close, it’s clear Kojaque has crafted an album so grounded in the everyday and real experience that it becomes a visceral, wrenching listen. Cementing himself as a trailblazing creator with wit in droves, on ‘Phantom of the Afters’, Kojaque delivers an album that sees him at his absolute prime.