After Freddie Foxxx stole the show on Gang Starr’s “The Militia” on 1999′s Moment Of Truth LP, heads took notice, and after releasing two little heard albums in the early 90′s, Foxxx took the gusto found in that seminal verse and poured into a whole new album. Reinventing himself as Bumpy Knuckles for the new millennium, he released Industry Shakedown, an angry album that pulled no punches, pointing fingers at artists and labels over the demise of hip-hop. Packed with beats from DJ Premier, Alchemist, Pete Rock, and Diamond D, not to mention collaborations with M.O.P., this album was an indy hip-hop favorite, as many heads agreed with his message, and loved the beats he was spitting it over.
With his sophomore release as Bumpy Knucks, Konexion, Foxxx attempts to channel that same angry energy into another 18 tracks of material, with more of the same anti-industry, wack emcee bashing dialect, however this time he saves himself a few dollars by doing most of the production himself. But unfortunately, because of this, the quality of the record has been compromised as well.
While Bumpy sounding off over beats from high-profile underground producers like DJ Premier will always please, as he does here on both “Lazy!” and “P.A.I.N.E.”, his doing it over his own less-than-stellar production is another story. Unfortunately, when Bumpy’s beats aren’t inspiring, his rhymes aren’t either. Granted, Bumpy does come with a few likable jams on here, even without big names attached to them, such as the bouncy “Step Up”, with a turntable manipulated Audio Two sample; the thumping “Aim Cock Spit” where Bumpy’s nephew even lends a verse (yes, he really does have rhyming kids); or “Stick’em Up” which bangs with 70′s swagger.
Still while Bumpy comes with it lyrically on most tracks, saying things that most other rappers are afraid to say, such as dissing athlete rappers or calling out names, not much has changed since Industry Shakedown. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve heard it all before, but without a strong team of producers behind him, (completed collaborations with Nas, Alchemist, & DJ Jazzy Jeff were not included for some reason) Bumpy’s latest sounds like stale watered down version of his previous release.
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