Album: A Piece of Strange
easy to label Hip-Hop artists according to their sound, look and genre
(mainstream vs underground, bling vs conscious, etc), but when talent
is so immense, it cannot be contained. Enter the CunninLynguists. The
Kentucky duo recently released their third LP A Piece of Strange.
Albeit strange as the title suggests, it’s definitely worth listening
to. The trippy blend of soul, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Blues, and Rock conjures
sounds of a cacophony, however, the musical potpourri created in
A Piece of Strange blends and works rather well.
outstanding production from Kno, of Kno vs Hov: White Album
notoriety, A Piece of Strange is 16 tracks of dark and odd, yet
enjoyable music (the production is so good that it’s easy to forget
that there are rappers on the tracks). With Deacon the Villain doing
most of the lyricism, and accompanied by Natti (of Deacon’s other
group Kynfolk) on 7 tracks, the album is full of socially conscious
commentary and personal experience, so unostentatious that it gives
the CunninLynguists a great deal of amiability.
with “Since When, ” Deacon and
Natti exchange battle raps aimed at non-believers in quality
Southern rap. Spitting: I hear
¬Ç√Ñ√≤em talking ¬Ç√Ñ√≤bout southern folks can’t rhyme some of ya’ll must
be out your gotdamn mind, in the hook, they dispel myths of grills,
candy painted cars, and excess materialism being the only things associated
with Southern rappers.
standout is “America Loves Gangstas. ” Opening with a skit
that implies that people “want to be criminals more than they want
to commit a crime, ” it’s a grim tale, over an eerie child-like voice
singing in the background, of how America’s obsession with violence
is misleading na?√òve minds.
noteworthy tracks are “Caved In ” featuring Cee-Lo, “The
Gates ” featuring Tonedeff, “Never Know Why ” featuring
Immortal Tecnhique, and “Brain Cell, ” which samples Inspektah
Deck’s vocals from WuTang’s “C.R.E.A.M. “
most of the album is somber and melancholy (caution: you will not want
to dance to this), Kno brightens the mood with “Beautiful Girl. ”
The upbeat tempo, scratches in the beat, and festive horns creates the
perfect mood for rhyming about having a special crush.
clever lyricism (hence the name CunninLynguists), excellent musical
showmanship (also displayed in strictly instrumental interludes), and
a unique sound, A Piece of Strange
is a pleasurably haunting, yet captivating musical experience.