"If you can't dance to this, it doesn't matter," raps k-os on his latest disc, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco. However, it does matter. In fact, that very idea has put the Canadian rapper (and winner of several Junos) at a musical crossroads. His latest is a mash of different styles and sounds, from acoustic numbers to straight-up, old-school jams -- but to some critics back home, it's just a little too mainstream.
Angered by a negative review in a Toronto paper, k-os responded by calling the black writer an "Uncle Tom" -- the classic tale of an artist struggling with integrity and making money. But the inner turmoil leads to some pretty good tunes -- which you can dance to. And legions of new fans, especially here in the States, are doing just that. But that doesn't mean k-os has scarified lyrical substance (dude's actually sorta deep) -- it's just a pretty safe bet that you'll be shaking your ass off when he takes the stage.