December 10, 2013

a0506336246_10Evan Nabavian never owned stock in Polaroid.

Rap music is especially fun when it confounds and Knxwledge’s Rap Jointz Vol. 1 does that a few times with analog madness and inebriated performances from the underground’s best. I started checking for the LA-based, NJ-born beatmaker in 2011 when he dropped his Hexual.Sealings LP of haywire neo-soul beats. But my interest waned when I noticed he was releasing music on the 07 Lil Wayne model – he’s uploaded 51 projects to his Bandcamp page since then and I can’t be expected to listen to all of those and flood the streets with hot blog posts.

It took a release by All City Dublin featuring Blu, Quelle Chris, and Dudley Perkins to bring me back. Rap Jointz is short and potent and breaks rules. “Ladibrd” sees Quelle shit-talking presumably while lying facedown on an uncovered mattress. He doesn’t rap as much as groan the witticisms you often get from producers. The effect hits home when he’s belting the hook over the Knxwledge’s cloudy instrumental. Cool stuff, but the real gem on the EP is “nothesame” where Blu’s vocals get muffled into incoherence by a grinding, concussed beat. It’s like they recorded a normal song and then twisted the knobs until they broke it. Blu raps from his psychedelic funhouse about an evening’s misadventure (I think) and the beat makes him sound all the more devious. If you’re looking for challenging, progressive rap, Knxwledge has turned the dial all the way left.