Just after 2020 ended, the year that many young people felt was the hardest of their lives, Kota the Friend gifted us with a new project full of cautious hope and gentle advice. “Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2” is something different, something new and fresh to start the year that is poised to return us to some version of normal life. The project consists of ten songs, but the total length is modest at just over fifteen minutes. Each track is composed of carefully crafted lyrics over calm, straightforward beats, and each delivers some combination of storytelling, guidance and Kota’s philosophies.
Fans of Kota the Friend gravitate toward his music due to its positivity, relatability and unapologetically honest outlook on life and relationships. The music on “LTGV2” is direct. Kota makes a point to be truthful to his fans, refraining from painting his life through a rose-colored lens. On “Emotionally Dumb” he raps, “Y’all the only ones that get the best of me though. My higher self is on the track, and the rest of me low.” Kota’s messaging on the album is overwhelmingly positive, but he makes sure to walk the line between chill and melancholy, giving the music uplifting energy without feeling boastful or counterfeit.
The beauty in “LTGV2” is found in its clarity. Kota’s voice is confident throughout the album, and his lyrics are thought-provoking enough that each song gets better the more you listen to it. While the music is very easy to listen to, the meaning in the lyrics is quite dense and there is no filler material. Kota makes purposeful use of every line. The brevity of the album makes it fun to re-listen and discover a subtle line that you missed the first time around.
“LTGV2” is heartfelt and authentic, and it might be just what you need to hear right now. Kota ends the album with a nugget of wisdom, encouraging the listener to go easy on themselves as he raps, “You can hit the gym, get your cash up, and better yourself, but it’s important that you love where you at.”