Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Musical Hip Hop from The Knux

I had heard good things about the debut release from The Knux, “Remind Me in 3 Days…”  No details. Only that it was good. I finally sat down and listened to the album and I am happy to report that it is overflowing with energy, layered with music, and very good. The Knux (short for Knuckle Heads) is made up of brothers Kentrell “Krispy Kream and Alvin “Rah Almillio” Lindsey. They have flow. They have timing. They have style. But what really knocks me out is that they have my favorite thing in a Hip Hop band: instruments.

Other acts will sample THESE guys.

Other acts will sample THESE guys.

I’m not sure who plays what, though you can clearly hear guitar, bass, keyboards and lots of percussion in every track. It’s a very musical album, not relying simply on looped samples to rap over. The instruments lay down a melody for the raps and most of the songs have a sung chorus. I pulled 5 songs. Well, actually I pulled 6 but then got rid of one, and I guess that brings me to the caveat about this album.

Some of the lyrics are a little rough. A lot of the album is innocuous enough and some of it is even positive in its message. Some of it, however, is misogynistic enough to make Biggie Smalls crack a smile. The second time through “Parking Lot” I found the great song was marred when I digested what they were saying. Then I pictured my daughter hearing that on accident some time and removed it. Maybe I’m too in touch with my feminine side. Maybe disposable women aren’t part of my world and I can’t identify. Maybe I just don’t get their sarcasm. Anyway, it’s not an issue on most of the disc and if it doesn’t bother you, you’ll like more of it than I did.

  • Fire (Put It in the Air) – They build a more traditional Hip Hop groove on this one, though I think they construct it with their own instruments. It feels like the soundtrack to a late night party.
  • Cappuccino – What a great groove. And a great drink, by the way: a fresh cappuccino with a mocha twist. If they’re actually talking about beverages.
  • Roxxanne – This is a fusion of Rock and Hip Hop, complete with a blistering guitar solo.
  • Powder Room – Drum machine, clean guitar, and dreamy keyboards back a really cool song I think about doing coke in the bathroom, among other things.
  • The True – This is one of the less musical songs on the disc. It’s mainly beat, a bit of strings, and some fast and smooth flow. I love that even on somewhat spare songs like this one, they actually sing a chorus.

The Knux have played with my favorite Hip Hop acts: Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Q-Tip. Any of those are shows I would like to see. I would look for tour dates, but their site appears to be down (today?). You can still find them on MySpace.

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September 22, 2009 - Posted by | Hip Hop

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