I remember tuning in to Live and Direct on DaSouth, a show hosted by J Blaze, as often as possible. The show was designed to showcase the various unheralded artists that were bold enough to put their songs on the chopping block. And J was a chopper for real, results were always mixed and he was not one to mince words. I loved being able to find out who was under the radar and worth supporting. That’s when J introduced a new OH rapper named Armond, playing the track “Rearview/Dashboard” from the Dreaming Out Loud album. From beat drop, I was intrigued by the combo of the instrumental’s vibe (shout to Doc) and Armond’s steady delivery of ‘different new, different new’ content. We exchanged contact info in the chatroom, soon to discover we both worked for the same multinational bank.
I’ve never met Armond, hopefully we can fix that sooner than later, but in our almost four years of friendship I can genuinely say he’s like another younger brother. We’ve discussed life, fatherhood, manhood, church politics, music, among many other subjects. Obviously Jesus was the primary command ground but we also held some commonality when it came to a lot of the philosophies of life. As Armond took his hiatus, it proved to be a chance for me check myself on treating him as a whole person, not just as one of my favorite artists. It became more about the process than the product for each of us in our different ways, as I feel is evident in Kairos. We often talked about not making moment music but rather something so coherent and timeless, that people were ministered to in a way that aligned with longevity.
As Armond slowly returned back to rappity mode, he would discuss what he felt the Lord wanted him to do with a more “quality over quantity” type of approach. No longer would he glory (no pun intended) in putting a project out every few months, recording some in a 2 or 3 day span. Instead, he would seek the Lord and be efficient and proficient with the time. Time and care definitely what went into Kairos, I wish I had screenshots of the constantly morphing “Kairos Advance” folder in Dropbox to prove it. The album kind of developed under my nose without me really understanding that I played a part. I would give input, stubbornly say “The Dreamer” was just okay, and offer input on track sequencing. But, after it was all said and done, what Armond said was just as important to the project as our musical discussions were the non-musical ones.
I look back at Kairos, a project I’ve listened to in its multiple iterations since late 2012, I can’t help but look forward- Genesis Revelation style. This is an album that is bigger than just the release date, the songs, or the annual Kairos weeks to come. Kairos is a call to take Biblical principles like getting understanding (Proverbs 4:7), being sober minded and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8), while “never living with (your) eyes closed” (Isaiah 42:7). Years from now, Armond’s kids, their kids (if he let’s his daughter get married before Christ returns), and yours will all be eating off of this album.
So, to sum up and set the sun on this summary I will simply say don’t snooze. If this is your first chance to really hear about Kairos, please make it a point to hear…wait, listen to it. If you have heard it, go back and listen to it again. This is not just about bars or regurgitating Bible verses indiscriminately. This is a living album; the result of pressure that pushes a man to truly chew on scripture, process it, and pour out by The Spirit’s prompting. It’s not too often that I’ve listened to an album that’s really added to my life and love for Jesus. Kairos does just that and I look forward to how the Lord will continue to use it.