In June 2010, one half of Burd x Keyz – Anthony “Durty Keyz” James – suddenly passed away due to a bacterial infection called Streptococcus. The disease is very rare and spread through Durty Keyz’ bloodstream rapidly which led to his unfortunate and untimely passing at the age of 23. Before Keyz had passed, he had begun working on a project called “Keyz of Life” and in honour of Keyz, production partner Andrew “Burd” Liburd went on to complete the project. I decided to take a listen and give you my review on a beautifully constructed album featuring a mass amount of local talent including: Kardinal Offishall, Luu Breeze, Nickelus F, SonReal, Blake Carrington, Shi Wisdom, A-Game, Omar Lunan, Promise, Redway, Rich Kidd, Rochester, Divine Brown and more.
The album starts on a sentimental note with Divine Brown harmonizing and production by our boy McCallaman on the intro track with recordings of the late Durty Keyz talking about his love for music and the name Burd x Keyz. This track is something that you can almost picture in your head as if old video clips of the pair were flashing by in your mind..RIP Durty Keyz. The title track Keyz of Life takes on a more upbeat note with Nikelus F, SonReal and Blake Carrington giving laid back flows reminisent of a nice summer day while they discuss good memories and appropriately their keys of life.
The album is solid from start to finish with production by Burd & Keyz on all songs with except: The Intro by McCallaman, Faithful co-produced by T-Minus and Shine also produced by T-Minus, Executive produced by Anthony James, Andrew Liburd & Reza Dahya ; all of whom you can tell put countless time and effort into making this album what it is – a great compilation of music and a tribute to the talented and greatly missed Durty Keyz.
A real highlight of Keyz of Life are the heartwarming interludes where you hear the production duo making jokes about feeling like the chocolate man from an Axe commercial and discussing the importance of the bass line in music. This gives the album a personal touch and you really get a feel of what a great friendship Burd & Keyz had. Every song is strong on its own but songs that stand out in my mind significantly from the album are: Faithful, LoveSpeak sung beautifully by Shi Wisdom and an ode to Durty Keyz, Shine which nearly brought a tear to my eye.
The album closes out with Kardinal Offishall and Divine Brown on The Other Side with Brown singing about the mortality of man and missing lost loved ones until we one day meet them on “the other side”. It’s a touching song and wraps everything up perfectly “Till we meet again..”. I recommend everyone out there go out and listen to this album because not only is it a great homage to Keyz but it also represents how much talent we have in this city and that’s the main reason Pretty Hype T.O. even exists. Keyz of Life is Pretty Hype!
don’t forget to check out http://www.burdandkeyz.com/
– Murissa B.