Jun 16, 2012

Kool G Rap - 4, 5, 6 (1995)


1. Intro 1:02
2. 4, 5, 6 3:21
3. It's a Shame 4:04
4. Take 'Em to War (feat. MF Grimm & B-1) 3:54
5. Executioner Style 4:07
6. For da Brothaz 3:45
7. Blowin' Up in the World 4:26
8. Fast Life (feat. Nas) 4:54
9. Ghetto Knows 4:29
10. It's a Shame (Da Butcher's mix) 3:10
11. Money on My Brain (feat. MF Grimm & B-1) 4:53

Kool G Rap... Before I say how awesome 4, 5, 6 is, it should probably be noted that when other people talk about G Rap being the best they're usually talking about his work with DJ Polo between 1989 and 1992 and not his subsequent solo albums. I didn't know that 'til yesterday! Live and Let Die is great although sometime's it's just so fucking HARDCORE, and I thought 4, 5, 6 was just another gem in his beloved 80s-90s discography but it's actually considered the point where he was past his prime! The way he spits AND HIS PUNCHLINES on this are supposedly where he FELL OFF?! Maybe I'm not picky enough!

Kool G Rap's one of those rappers that's widely believed to be the best because the evidence is in just about any of the verses from his golden era (BUT NOT THIS ONE, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM 4, 5, 6), and because other rappers also called the best from time to time think pretty highly of him- Big, Em, Jay, Nas, Bun, Pun (rhymes!), Cube, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and those are just the ones on wikipedia that I think are best if I try convince myself that there are objective standards for such an assessment. Critics love this shit- you can say WITHOUT HIM YOU WOULDN'T HAVE READY TO DIE OR ILLMATIC OR THE LESS HIGHLY REGARDED ERIC B AND RAKIM JOINTS AND THEN THERE'D BE NO CLEAN LINEARITY OR NARRATIVE IN MUSIC. I'm getting bored of that though! He's all about complex rhyme schemes and syllables and whatnot so listening to him you think when's he gonna run out of breath and when's he gonna exhaust the dictionary and stop finding words that sound similar and the answer (as it is with Big, Em, and Big Pun in particular) is NEVER- dude sounds like he could go on forever stacking more and more rhymes and actually managing to say something as well. Maybe typical of 90s east coast rap, it's HARDCORE with mafioso worship thrown in, so struggle exaggerated into something that would be nightmarish if it weren't so vivid, cocky, and exciting. The production's what you'd expect for that- laid back in the most nocturnal, grimy way, and simple enough for these exciting/cocky emcees to show off their virtuosity in creating increasingly complex rhymes and rhythms while staying on the simple beat

It's probably not as exciting as he would've been in '89 and by this stage his influence is known and the influenced go with him toe-to-toe (Fast Life), but I think it's pretty cool! A bit HARDCORE (cerebral?) for my tastes but some of the most impeccable rapping and punchlines you can come across, from one of hip hop's legends who was still LEGENDARY in 1995 regardless of what you read

A-

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2 comments:

  1. This write-up kind of made me want to listen to the 89-92 run first. Still a victory for you, I guess :P

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    1. Yeah writing it made me feel like listening to Live and Let Die again so I'm gonna get round to posting that lol

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