The title is apropos, yet unintentionally so, the beats are thick, homemade bastions of hip-hop, and the lyrics are a mixture of metaphor, portentous jaunts, poignant ruminations and direct hits.

Dope KNife's (Kedrick Mack) fourth studio album, "NineteenEightyFour," is as the Savannah emcee intended.

"I knew that I wanted to make it unapologetically rap," Mack said. "The older that I've gotten, the more all about this hip-hop I've gotten. It seems people have this perception that the only time rap music can be cutting-edge, groundbreaking is when it has stuff that's not rap in it. It's like nah. A DJ with turntables and an emcee with a microphone can take you on any journey if they are capable artists."

Mack began work on his fourth studio album well over a year ago with the grand ambition of 18 tracks. Over time, though, he curtailed the album to 12 tunes.

The album's title avoids using numerical notation intentionally. Mack named the album after his birth year because he knew he'd be putting it out around his January birthday. However, over the course of the writing, he found the 2016 election cycle mirrored some of the aspects of George Orwell's dystopian novel of the same name.

As Mack carved out the lyrics for this album, he danced around with social issues here and there, never focusing on a single idea too long before venturing off into a new allegory or thought in the next verse.

"Like the whole 'NineteenEightyFour' stuff; people are going to think this is some kind of political thing," Mack said. "Yeah, but not really. The whole concept of '1984' is just an idea. As a piece of fiction, yeah, it's dope. It's unfortunate that so many things going on in real life are aligning to it. Some of it seeped in. It was mostly that it was my birth year and I knew I was putting out an album around my birthday."

On the production side, Mack took a different path for this album, writing all of the beats himself and recording the entire album in his home studio in Savannah. The album is being released on the independent label Strange Famous Records and Mack, wanting to avoid copyright issues, reached out to his musician friends in Savannah.

"I don't even feel comfortable recording my stuff with anyone other than myself," Mack said. "There are no inhibitions. You mess up. You do something 80 times. You're not worried about wasting anyone's time. I've been making beats since back in the day. This is the first one I just did everything. All the beats from top to bottom â¦

"I got all of my friends in Savannah who were musicians to send me clips of them just playing. I had one friend send me him just playing bass. I had mp3 and wav files of stuff that was like 10, 15 minutes long of just keys and bass and saxophone. I sampled them to make the beats on the album."

Mack's writing process begins with the beat. Then he titles the song and from there works out the lyrics. Writing from behind, so to speak, forces him into a creative flow. Some of the album's strongest moments emerge in Mack's solo lines, but guest appearances from Ceschi Ramos and the founder of Strange Famous Records, Sage Francis, hit hard.

"Everyone says the last thing they did was the best thing they did, but yeah, it's the sort of thing where I feel that it's a good starting point," Mack said. "In my ear, it makes all of my old stuff obsolete. I didn't feel that way until after I recorded this."

After the Jan. 27 album release party, which will also feature DJ D-Frost aka CarlitoBaby and Theus Young, Mack will embark on a month-long tour, his longest one yet.

"I just wanted to make it unapologetically bars and samples and break beats," Mack said. "Just hip-hop out as much as I can. From a content perspective, it isn't the typical signature you're used to hearing, but it is rap. If you don't like listening to rap music, if you like singing, you're not going to like it. It's a rap album. It's rap music. If you're not open minded to that, then 'NineteenEightyFour' is not for you."


What: Dope KNife album release party

When: 10 p.m. Jan. 27

Where: El-Rocko Lounge, 117 Whitaker St.

Cost: Free