K-Rino is Houstonâ€™s great[est?] MC, a 20-year veteran of the rap game and self-professed â€œworst rapper alive.â€ His new album, on Black Book Int’l, is a fiery independent conscious album that begins with a rapid fire â€œintroâ€ track that immediately proves his skill. How many guys out there can roll phrases like â€œuncontrollable scoliosis plus liver cirrhosisâ€ without a break, stumble or pause?
Itâ€™s not always clear from whence K-Rinoâ€™s inspiration is drawn: â€œAmensiaâ€ tells a gritty story of a man who wakes up in the hospital with no memory, but the listener canâ€™t help but think that this is an allegory for racial consciousness. â€œImaginationâ€ is also metaphysical, discussing the genetic origins of various characters . . . A science rhyme, performed by a gangsta. Iâ€™d bet you wonâ€™t hear songs like this anywhere else.
Many tracks are like thatâ€”unique and eclectic to the extreme–but others, like the triumph, â€œRaised In The Dead Endâ€, tell a more literal ghetto-baby tale, which seems to be K-Rinoâ€™s own story (although, as Jay-Z recently spat, you canâ€™t believe more than half of what you hear).
You wonâ€™t recognize the guest shots here, unless youâ€™re a K-Rino fan (some are from his South Park Coalition), but on â€œMultiple Choice Murders,â€ about two-dozen guys slip verses in the extended trackâ€”itâ€™s about the best pass-the-mic track Iâ€™ve ever heard on a formal release. In terms of style, K-Rino is a lot like Joe Budden, only with a more cerebral approach and without the N word. In fact, thereâ€™s barely any foul language on the entire album.
This isnâ€™t his best album, but itâ€™s a very good one. In a year of very weak rap releases, itâ€™s definitely worth your money.