You’ve got to admire K. Sparks’ fortitude in the face of critical acclaim—33 (invariably dope) records into his Manic Mondays series, the Queens emcee is riding an unbroken hot streak of pretty epic proportions. Despite the pressure of stellar listener expectations, Sparks isn’t about to start playing it safe; on installment number 34, Bright Lights, he’s undertaken what may be his toughest challenge yet: creating a lyrically-driven club banger that proves drinking, dancing and deep thought can go hand in hand. Over a glittering, arpeggiated synth backdrop by frequent production collaborator Kurser, Sparks neatly sidesteps the clichés of what he calls “typical ‘shake ya booty booty’ and ‘get drunk in the club’ music,” instead touching on such topics as racial profiling and inner-city violence in two characteristically agile verses. Complete with a hook by Sunshine and My City hook singer Julius Francis, Bright Lights is as smart as it is catchy. At the end of the day, not every club rapper can do what Sparks does, but, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"All That Jazz" (2008)
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