Photos by Josh Egel and Allen Walker   
Last week Bay Area rapper and producer KVN ALLN (fka Erk Tha Jerk) held an intimate listening session for his forthcoming album, Never What It Seems. Attendees were the first to hear the new project, which will be released on all platforms this summer.

What better place to host a listening session than at the legendary Hieroglyphics studio in East Oakland? The town heroes at Hiero provided the perfect setting. The vibe was super chill, the atmosphere was communal and friendly. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon to hear some good music!

Kevin Allen kicked off the listening session explaining the concept for his new album and the reasons for his recent name change. ICYMI, two months ago an image of the artist was posted on Instagram by friend and fellow Bay recording artist Mistah Fab, with the words #RIPErkThaJerk. A social media frenzy erupted as the image was quickly shared by fans and media outlets, some unsure of its startling meaning. Kevin Allen later showed up on his Twitter and Facebook page explaining that HE is still alive…but the name “Erk tha Jerk” is dead.

Now back to the listening session…

As each beat got sicker and the flows got deeper, I saw the heads nodding, feet tapping, stank faces, and bodies swaying with Kevin ripping through every track, and let me tell you now…this album is not for the sensitive type! With his rebirth as Kevin Allen, the artist formerly known as Erk is taking his evolution as a rapper, writer, and producer to the next stage. Returning to his real name signifies his commitment to himself and his craft, and you can bet Kevin Allen is bringing the realness to everything he creates. Peep the first track release, “Look at me Now,” below, and stay tuned for more of his new music coming soon right here at SBVRSL.