I don’t want to make my review of Chicago MC Verbal Kent’s sixth album all about the fact that he’s white. Really. But there’s so few great white rappers out there that it’s hard not to. And even of the ones recognized as great (El-P, Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, Beastie Boys) so few make true street music–the kind of stuff you first think of when you think of the “rap” genre.
VK’s list of collaborators attests to his skill: He’s got verses and production by some of the best underground rap has to offer: Pete Rock, Masta Ace, Sadat X, Edo G, !llmind . . . This alone should make you want this album.
Lyrically, Verbal goes toe to toe with the best of them. Flow-wise, he’s got a straightforward, hard spit–he’s not making jokes or love songs, so he doesn’t really need to change this up. (Ever notice that other than Jay-Z, no rappers are really able to use multiple voices unless they’re trying to be humorous?) And he even is able to make a rap about health-care insurance and class warfare sound grimey, with the help of Rusty Chains and Alltruisms on “Justice Code.”
This album is worth your ten bucks. Get it direct from the artist at his site, here.
BONUS: A FEW OTHER WHITE RAPPERS THAT AREN’T VANILLA ICE