22 April, 2012@6:18 pm
As one of the most seasoned emcees in the game, Bumpy Knuckles has recorded nine albums over a massive 23-year period. So if anyone has a right to call out what exactly is wrong with hip-hop, it’s him – he’s seen and heard it all. Teaming with DJ Premier for The Kolexxxion, a sequel to his 2003 LP, The Konexion, Bumpy doesn’t break the formula over 17 tracks of raw, unabashed production.
The album begins with the smoked out intro, “My Thoughts”, where Bump trades his usual abrasive delivery for a more laid-back approach, as you can almost hear him exhaling the smoke with each line. This doesn’t last however, as the up-tempo “Shake The Room” follows, finding him teamed up with Flavor Flav for a knocking “club banger”. The Public Enemy influence continues later with the Sista Soulja sampled “We Are At War”, where he laments about piracy of his music, suggesting “I used to beat a bootlegger to death / now I gotta send a legal letter / I wish the fans would treat me better”. On “P.A.I.N.E.” he really lets the Foxxx out, bitch-slapping rappers with a cabal of hilariously threatening rhymes. This style picks up later on “The Lah” over an unsympathetic Preemo track, while he delivers another smackdown to just about every corner of the rap industry.
Premier’s production takes on many forms on this LP, as he seemingly digs through every corner of his crates for different sounds. The cinematic “Eveneverputmy4cusaway” is a beautifully mellow concoction, while the Nas featured “Turn Up The Mic (DJ Premier Remix)” rings in as an instant classic. Even the paired down four-bar loop “Own It” is simplified brilliance in sampling, as Preem shows his knack for finding the perfect sample, turning the sound of a broken record into a infectious head-nodder.
While packed with bangers of every variety, perhaps the best track here is still “The Gang Starr Bus”, which originally dropped last year’s Get Used To Us compilation. This scathing, indirect dis to Solar bangs with it’s classic Daily Operation-esque jazz loop, as Bumpy recounts the early Gang Starr tours with M.O.P. and Big Shug, as a well timed Guru sample from beyond the grave brags, “you don’t even know the half about me.”
With careers that touch four decades of rap, DJ Premier and Bumpy Knuckles not only show a talent to create timeless music, but also a testament to their legacy. Even this deep into their respective careers, they each individually show their long-standing strengths with The Kolexxxion.
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