Canadian recording artist k-os yesterday offered a clarification for some inflammatory statements he posted on the Internet after he read a review of his new CD in Now magazine.
K-os stopped short of apologizing for calling Now reviewer Jason Richards a "Sambo" and an "Uncle Tom" who is being "manipulated by his indie-rock nerd bosses." But k-os did admit his anger got the better of him, and he said he removed the controversial posting from his Myspace web page after receiving some unsolicited, but wise, advice.
"What I stand by is this -- the person who wrote this review, I didn't just attack some (anonymous) reviewer, " k-os said. " This is someone who has interviewed me two or three or four times, he also hails from Trinidad, which is my home country, and we've had many discussions on music. And he also happens to be somebody who is black (as is k-os).
"So I was not upset about him not giving me a good review. I've seen worse reviews than that, as far as three out of five stars. What I was upset about was that he started the review by saying, this is somebody who is a crossover artist disguised as a hip-hop artist (the actual line in Now was, 'a crossover pop artist disguised as trueschool b-boy'). It's obvious on my record that I'm trying to be many things. Why would I hide that? "
K-os,whose new CD Atlantis : Hymns For Disco is in stores now, insisted he is not suggesting that black reviewers are obligated to give black artists superlative reviews.
"No, no, because I've had a million reviews in the States that I never responded to," K-os said. "This happens to be a very personal situation."
K-os said he removed the posting after getting a response from a stress-management expert.
"He said, 'I've been following your music for a while, and you're doing something positive, but this undermines you to write this and I'm very disappointed,'" k-os said. "He said, 'Einstein said intelligence and genius always will be berated by lesser minds.' And when I read that, I took it down.
"People started e-mailing me, saying I was backing off. But it was just that someone had made a good point to me, especially coming from someone I didn't seek out. And it wasn't like he's a hiphop-head, he's like some older guy.
"I'm a human being, too. I wrote that maybe seven minutes after I read the review. I don't have any regrets about expressing myself, but if people can observe this scenario and learn from it, and use me as a case study about anger and caring what people think, more power to you."
K-os is at the Mod Club on Oct. 30 and 3 1 .