Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In the world of current popular music, over-classification has run rampant. What was once just hip-hop has become alternative, left field, underground, jazz-rap, hardcore, grind, g-funk, old-school, new-school, gangsta, and anything else in between. HearsKra-Z is taking steps to change that.

Fittingly, HearsKra-Z's debut album, Carnival of Sols, begins with an introduction to hip-hop fans of all sorts to unite to simply enjoy the music. Kra-Z seems to channel the ghosts of hip-hop past and present to reunite them under a common genre. “The Entertainer” evokes Andree 3000 style rapping and singing; “Chieftain” is a club-banging ode to weed in the tradition of Ludacris; “Open Window of Opportunity” flows thematically like Lupe Fiasco at his best; and “Irrevewhat” is a futuristic party track a la The Knux or Anti-Pop Consortium. Add those to the scattered T.I. modeled rhymes and John Legend inspired hooks, not to mention the array of local features, and Carnival of Sols has a more extensive works cited list than any album out right now.

Still, by leaving himself open to the influence of those who came before him without limiting himself by region or subgenre, HearsKra-Z has crafted a unique style of his own. Carnival of Sols represents the best of hip-hop while solidly establishing Kra-Z as a new voice in the genre. Definitely a contender for best upbeat summer album.

Pick up Carnival of Sols over at The Frozen Food Section.

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