Raised by Jehovah's Witness parents in locales as disparate as Toronto and Trinidad, it was no surprise that Kheaven Brereton, aka k-os (pronounced: chaos) was a bit different than your average MC.
A singer as well as a rhymer, and a producer to boot, k-os proved on his debut album, Exit (Astralwerks, 2002), that being preachy didn't have to mean being boring. The LP stood out dramatically with lush, instrument-driven arrangements to go with the traditional hip-hop elements of drum programming, samples, and the like. Acoustic guitar and piano marked the single "Heaven Only Knows"; dub and reggae influences tinged "Freeze." Many of the tracks found the rapper singing, so much so that an argument could be raised about the genre to which k-os in fact belonged. And that was just the way he liked it. A tour to support Exit stretched from late 2002 through summer 2003; the dates saw k-os performing with such hip-hop luminaries as India.Arie and Floetry. Exit went on to pick up International Album of the Year at the 2003 Source Awards. K-os returned in September 2004 with the equally ambitious Joyful Rebellion, a record whose sales hit almost double-platinum levels. After writing and performing "Burning to Shine" with the CBC Orchestra (a process that was documented on the network) in 2005, k-os released Atlantis: Hymns for Disco the following year. His fourth album, Yes!, was released in 2008. The double-disc Black on Blonde followed in 2013 with guest appearances from Gym Class Heroes vocalist Travie McCoy and "Sunglasses at Night" singer Corey Hart. Saukrates and Kardinal Offishall appeared on his 2015 effort Can't Fly Without Gravity, an album that parodied National Lampoon's Vacation with its cover art. ~ Johnny Loftus