K-RINO-“Book Number 7”

K-Rino is Houston’s great[est?] MC, a 20-year veteran of the rap game and self-professed “worst rapper alive.” His new album, on Black Book Int’l, is a fiery independent conscious album that begins with a rapid fire “intro” track that immediately proves his skill. How many guys out there can roll phrases like “uncontrollable scoliosis plus liver cirrhosis” without a break, stumble or pause?

It’s not always clear from whence K-Rino’s inspiration is drawn: “Amensia” tells a gritty story of a man who wakes up in the hospital with no memory, but the listener can’t help but think that this is an allegory for racial consciousness. “Imagination” is also metaphysical, discussing the genetic origins of various characters . . . A science rhyme, performed by a gangsta. I’d bet you won’t hear songs like this anywhere else.

Many tracks are like that—unique and eclectic to the extreme–but others, like the triumph, “Raised In The Dead End”, tell a more literal ghetto-baby tale, which seems to be K-Rino’s own story (although, as Jay-Z recently spat, you can’t believe more than half of what you hear).

You won’t recognize the guest shots here, unless you’re a K-Rino fan (some are from his South Park Coalition), but on “Multiple Choice Murders,” about two-dozen guys slip verses in the extended track—it’s about the best pass-the-mic track I’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, there’s barely any foul language on the entire album.

This isn’t his best album, but it’s a very good one. In a year of very weak rap releases, it’s definitely worth your money.

Raised In The Dead End

The Worst Rapper Alive (From his “Lyrical Legend” mixtape)

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