Review : DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles - The Kolexxxion
Hip Hop DXIn Frank Miller’s Sin City, the character Marv is described in the following passage: “[M]ost people think Marv is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him.” The same can be said of Bumpy Knuckles – or Freddie Foxxx, if you prefer. On his latest offering, KoleXXXion, Bump unabashedly goes to war, with ferocious rhymes serving as his weapon of choice.
“My Thoughts” is an ominous introduction that’ll get the listener screw-faced within seconds, as a calm Freddie Foxxx is audibly on the edge of exploding on the mic. Thinks amp up on the frenetic “Shake the Room,” (which features a surprisingly outstanding Flavor Flav) but it’s not until “wEaRe aT WaR” until Bump is fully snarling on the mic. As Bump chin-checks wack emcees, calls out bootleggers, and pays homage to fallen comrades, it’s apparent that the New York native’s lane may be well-worn, but he operates very well within it....full text
Xxl MagThe strength of The KoleXXXion lies in the diversity of the production. Tracks such as “EyEnEvErPuTmY4cUsAwAy,” “The Life,” “FYPAU” and “GrEaTnEsS” are a slight departure from the Premier bells and drums that listeners have gotten used to. In this case, change is a good thing.
Lyrically, Bumpy Knuckles brings a collection of battle rhymes and ass-kicking to the mic, as he and Premier continue to work together well. While the track “OwNiT” misses, it’s picked up by the well crafted look into life on the Gang Starr tour, “The Gang Starr Bus” and “Word Iz Born,” the fantastic dedication to fallen comrade HeadQCourterz. The KoleXXXion is some uncut raw from two of rap’s revered talents. Hip-hop heads can add it to their KoleXXXion....full text
Av ClubNearly a quarter century into his career, DJ Premier has settled into a comfortable niche as one of hip-hop’s most prestigious producers for hire. He’s the collaborator of choice for any rapper looking to demonstrate a commitment to East Coast rap traditions, and though his beats aren’t particularly exclusive (last year alone he contributed them to more than a dozen albums), they’re a reliable highlight of almost any album that features them. With their distinctive bounce and precise repetition, his tracks have a way of making even the most pedestrian rappers sound like greats—and that knack has come in handy in recent years, since unfortunately Premier isn’t backing actual greats like he used to.
If not for a few scattered contemporary references, The Kolexxxion could easily pass as a lost album from 1998. That’s the essence of the album’s charm, of course, but also its ultimate shortcoming. Even when The Kolexxxion is good—and it’s usually pretty good—its playbook is so overfamiliar that it’s incapable of truly surprising or exciting....full text
Hip hop siteAs 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....full text
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