THE UK RAP ALBUMS: THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF
The Klashnekoff Album Collection - Part I
Published by Blackman_Isaac for DIJEH inc. / Works of Art
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(Note: I originally posted this review on
 www.epinions.com in my ID name - dr_kdj_primo ©.
 www.ciao.co.uk in my ID name - DJ_primo ©.)
Before 2003, my old theory was that only certain US rappers (e.g. Guru of Gangstarr) were capable of delivering clever mixtures of sick metaphors and flawless flow over a classic beat to deliver a quality album. After all that's the country where the old school of real Hip Hop originated. Then there are those raw, underground US producers like DJ premier to back up these talented rappers with fine artistry in the beat-making. I never thought UK rap artists could achieve this target in Britain until I came across KLASHNEKOFF in 2003. This was how the story of my respect for Klashnekoff began. Check it:
**INTRO: WHY I PURCHASED THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF**
Firstly, I became sick to my stomach of watching videos on MTV Base and KISS channels because of overplayed, PARTY CRAP like those from Blazing Squad, Britney Spears (Yuk!) Chingy (right thurr), etc. So I decided to tune into a music channel with something new, namely Channel U. Then by chance I watched this BRITISH rapper - Klashnekoff (real name: Darren Kandler) in his video titled, 'IT'S MURDA'. This UK rapper delivered tight punchlines and awesome flow as if he was doing some emcee practice in front of the mirror! Everything about this video was heavy and as ill as music from any skilled, real Hip Hop artist you could think of.
Secondly in 2004, my friend whose strictly a real Hip Hop fan (and likes Gangstarr, Common etc.) recommended I check out the THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF. Also, I already witnessed two magical videos where Klashnekoff spoke bullets of intelligent lyrics, so I went to the HMV store and bought his album for £11.99.
**OUTRO: GUESS THAT EXPLAINS MY POINT, LIKE A KLASHNEKOFF'S AIM**
I was a little surprised Klashnekoff would even afford to release an album. This is because he hasn't got a major record deal and is not recommended by major record bosses as a promising artist to bring valuable skills to the industry (COUGH, BULLS**T, NONSENSE etc.). The problem is, as Klashnekoff once said in an interview, record label bosses are always sniffing around, looking to make money. They will not sign on Klashnekoff because they think his creative artwork (beats, lyrics etc.) will not be pop enough to appeal to the mainstream crowd and sell like commercial juice. This was partly the reason why the poor man (and his singles) wasn't even nominated as best newcomer in the hip hop industry (again BULLS**T, RUBBISH etc.). Pop-rap will really cause Klashnekoff to shoot and miss the target of real Hip Hop with his rifle.
Klashnnekoff is NOT a true gangsta rapper despite his name (see for B 4 U DIE). He is not a villain despite growing up in Hackney, a London Borough full of snitches and evil-doers. This rapper chose the rap name KLASHNEKOFF to rep for his hood and signify FREEDOM OF SPEECH. He also aimed to spread the message about his past experience so that youths in the ghetto don't experience a hard knock life the way he did.
Now it's time for me to cut to the chase - the main thing. For this timely INTRODUCTION, you will understand my point in my ballistics report of each track in the next chapter.
(Note: cf. = 'see for' in my reviews)
WHAT I EXPERIENCED
I listened to 'THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF' in November 2004 and made the following observations:
1. INTRO (1:50 min)
(Not a genuine music track)
The album kicks off with some interesting, traditional Caribbean theme accompanied with sounds of timpani and other drums in the background. Shortly, a Jamaican man of unknown name, along with others call out, "...Jah Rastafari..." in West Indian accent. Note that Jah Rastafari is the so called Jamaician God.
I like the way the main Jamaican narrator (whoever he is) delivers the intro. He speaks philosophically to Jah Rastafari, '....Lord of Gods, Kings of Kings....' about bringing peace and light to the world. This includes bringing black people together as a whole community Whether the black people grew up in England, Africa, Jamaica etc., it's all about the difficulties that maketh a man - the journeys that poor black men had to take to struggle in the ghetto.
This message here is very educative and convinces me that Klashnekoff is going to be really positive over the next tracks.
Rating: Not applicable
2. ZERO (4:01 min)
The track opens up with a West Indian giving a theory as to how '....life is like one big road full of signs....' and that one must decide how to face reality all the time. Then the excitement really begins as Klashnekoff opens up fire, rapping about the consequences of taking different types of roads through different lifestyles. The producer of the well crafted beats on this track, is LEWIS PARKER for 'The World of Dusty Vinyl' production. The beats have an interesting 'old school Hip Hop' style combination of jazz and thumping bass lines with analogue radio sounds occurring in the background. The production by Lewis Parker sounds like something fit for a 1990s rap movie like 'House Party' or 'Zebrahead'. The beats also resemble DJ premier's Gangstarr production for 'The Ownerz' album.
In the first verse, Klashnekoff sounds like Nasty Nas on 'N.Y. State of Mind'. He raps about the 'mind state' of himself and other black boys in City of London, asking them whether they can look to the future in poverty.
Then he becomes more conscious as he switches to his own life experiences of his teenage life through anti-social crime with his late 'blood' (UK mate who died in hospital). He speaks lyrically to his dead friend, about how they were never fit enough to become university graduates because of lack of parental guidance in crumbled family lives. He also reminisces all the wrong journeys (i.e. road) he took to survive in the ghetto namely dropping out of education to make fast money by armed robbery, chased by cops in a car rage. This led to serious road accidents with Klashnekoff close to death in hospital. Sample:
'....my spiritually throughout
the time I was with you
my heart smashed to pieces
to pain me through
splitting me in two halves....
....have to wear two face mask
For too many years past
I sat on my a$$
tryin to replace the past
but that won't last...'
So the reality of life is that one can't turn the clock back, except say in a proverb - "Experience is the best teacher" - life just goes on, but gets better later on. I think this is what Klashnekoff meant when he rapped:
'....maybe we can look to the future....'
in his first verse, to his long lost buddy who died in hospital. Klashnekoff (like a rifle aiming) is really on target here as he understands that crime leads to nothing, in other words ZERO.
I think this ZERO track, would make a great 'original soundtrack' (O.S.T.) or 'cut' to promote an album of a movie, painting the life of black communities working hard to earn 'cheddar' (i.e. money)
3. ITS MURDA (5:01 min)
Now I give a full ballistics analysis of one of my favourites, ITS MURDA. This track starts off similarly like ZERO with one of Klashnekoff's Jamaican compatriots talking the background, probably Scribblah (real name: C. Daley). Klashnekoff opens up real fire on this track, spitting tight poetry from the start to finish. Only this time, compared to ZERO, he uses more metaphors in his lyrics. He also displays more gritty determination to knock sense into evil people who think drug-dealing, pimping and premature sex is the way forward. So Klashnekoff shoots out at them, telling how he as a 'TERRA FIRMA CREW' read daily events in news / newspapers about gangs being killed in stabbings and brawls with rival criminals. He also lectures criminals in his hood (and others e.g. Walthamstow, Tottenham etc.) about drug-related crimes and how drugs POISON people to slices of hors' deouvres (a cocktail popular in USA).
The beats are laced by HARRY LOVE and have steady piano loops with Yamaha keyboard tempo. Towards the end of the track, the beats slowly take the turn of scratching like that typical DJ premier style. Harry Love has combined the beats in such intelligent fashion that it reflects a London ghetto feel (as in Brixton, Hackney or Leyton) like taking a stroll through quite, but dangerous corridors of run down council buildings.
As for the video, which I originally thought was the FIRST single (I am now wrong, it's the second single - see later), it is one of the most natural British videos I have ever seen. There is none of that lame, English partying in the screen (like Blazing Squad). The video is just plain darkness with Klashnekoff's face switching back and forth to Scribblah's face every minutes like someone staring in the mirror. Klashnekoff sounds really loaded and ill in the video, but at the same time a great prophet who wears his black and white bandana (as if he is Nas' distant, English cousin). In view of this, it is just no wonder real Hip Hop heads will record ITS MURDA on a video tape / DVD and keep it until they live to a 100 YEARS OLD!!
To finish off here, Klashnekoff and Harry "Harry Love" Curran wrote the intelligent lyrics for ITS MURDA.
4. JANKROWVILLE (5:26 min)
Now I approach another classic example of underground Hip Hop. JANKROWVILLE! This track starts off with Klashnekoff practicing his reggae skills followed by rapping. Then as Klashnekoff tells in his lyrics, 'Jankrowville' is his new street term for deprived areas like Hackney and other areas scattered across London. First, he teaches us about how poor people have humble lives in the streets. For example, doing crap jobs to scrape a small, sh**tty amount of cash to survive. Then mentions how he saw poor black people from various ethnic backgrounds (e.g. Dominica, Jamaica, Nigeria etc.) who grew up in London, but rob from high-class English White natives to support themselves. You get me? Robbing the rich to feed the poor? YES, these incidents take place in MY OWN AREA - EAST LONDON and Klashnekoff therefore makes a huge amount of sense.
As Klashnekoff's flawless flow speeds up from the beginning of this track, he is like a weapon being slowly loaded with ammunition. Then as he arrives at the hook - BANG, BLAST, RATATAT. Klashnekoff shouts out, summarising his points about all the problems in peoples' lives:
'They call it Jankrowville!
The land of the vultures
filled with cobras and cold hearted soldiers
cats with pokers, cuz all of you'z is posers
I'm seeing dead friends faces on posters
In Jankrowville, where man kill for penny
the city's heavy, I see many regions buried....'
Notice the exquisite mix of metaphors Klashnekoff uses to carefully construct the hook. I make a careful forensic examination and come to my supposed theory as follows:
1. The 'vultures' are the male robbers who prey on people rich in wealth (like bird's of prey targetting rabbits rich in nutrients).
2. The 'cobras' and 'coldhearted soldiers' are the gang leaders and members respectively (same age as Klashnekoff) who choose to drug-deal, killing drug addicts who owe cash in order to make a living.
3. The 'cats' are the bad rappers / pimps who make money of prostitutes / hoes who themselves are the female 'posers' to an audience of rapists in a club.
4. The 'regions buried' refer to failing boroughs of London
Klashnekoff sounds almost vocally like Eminem when he shouts out the hook for this track.
Moving my thought's over to the production, L. Dolo delivers an informal British, school beat that is fit for real UK Hip Hop. It has an interesting 1990s piano rhythm where a keyboard musician is plays every rounds of five deep piano notes and two louder piano loops. According to my ears, L. Dolo has constructed the rhythm of beats perfectly to fit with Klashnekoff's flow. The beats, are therefore one of my favourites on this album and it keeps drawn me in. Again, (like ZERO), JANKROWVILLE would be another excellent choice for an official soundtrack.
So this is DJ_primo's message to Hip Hop fans, come and visit JANKROWVILLE. Forget Nelly's Nellyville, sorry I mean Stinkyville (whatever that f*cked up, smelly place is), check out JANKROWVILLE. Klashnekoff welcomes you to the area of good Hip Hop.
5. PARROWDICE (5:52 min)
PARROWDICE is where Klashnekoff's Terra Firma compatriots, Kyza Smirnoff (real name: A. Henry) and Scribblah make their guest appearance. It was the third release as a single of Klashnekoff's LP and appeared on Channel U.
But first of all, what about the quality of PARROWDICE? Well as I continue my ballistics report, PARROWDICE is a masterpiece! I regard this as the best classical track that I am doing a forensic analysis on, so far. Here are my three reasons:
1. Harry "Harry Love" Curran is always on top of his game as a producer. In his production, he combines keyboard beats for humble city life, darkness, illness and a pinch of R'n'B all in the right combinations. Amazingly the classic beat ends up sounding like it came from a 1970s, Italian mafia movie but yet still perfect for real Hip Hop (SMASHED IT!).
2. The masterful production by Harry Love is very cool and relaxing and grabs my attention rampantly. It places me in my own WORLD OF PARADISE, as it's like listening to Pete Rock's beat-making on 'The World is Yours'.
3. Harry Love brings out the best in Klashnekoff where sharpness and grittiness is concerned. He especially has the identical effect on Kyza Smirnoff and Scribblah.
In terms of subject matter, PARROWDICE is practically JANKROWVILLE. In the first verse, Klashnekoff uses metaphors and similes to express his politics concerning London life. His topics include, the presence of pessimists (i.e. muslim terrorists) using biological warfare to kill native Londoners in retribution for Tony Blair's actions. He also takes a blast against the Tony Blair's lame politics when he raps about the crisis of British / American soldiers killed at war with airplanes colliding in war. He even refers to disturbed areas like these as places for the devil to live. Here is a sample of Klashnekoff's intelligent lyrics and advanced rhyming skills based on the deceptive nature of paradise (dubbed 'parrowdice'):
'_....and at times life's confusin
your old world's crumblin
like aeroplanes collidin
with high sky rises, how many more lives
before we realise there is a crisis?
I cry red mist, but still
I live the will to climb everest
living in this freaking world of pessimists....
....this world stands and contaminatin
with biological hatred, it's blatant....
....f*ck aiming to be famous
I'm aiming two flamers
at Tony Blair's face first (Note: Tony Blair is bad for the community, that's what Klashnekoff means)
that's my word blood, Trust....'
Kyza Smirnoff and Scribblah continue the Terra Firma theory on the confusing paradise in life and both are equally impressive in their rhymes. Kyza Smirnoff raps about staring into reality and being trapped in his illest dreams. Scribblah rhymes about the misleading facts of paradise in heaven and Jesus' forgiveness when one dies. He speaks about falling from heaven to 'hell in a cell' because of sins he committed in the past and Jesus will never be his saviour.
Getting back to that video of PARROWDICE, I last watched in December 2004 on Channel U - far too good for me to describe full terms! So I will just spit these words, the PARROWDICE video is pure ill, sick with it and supreme!
So if anyone likes, they can download PARROWDICE on 'WinMX' to confirm my analytical report of this LP.
6. B 4 U DIE (4:09 min)
This track begins with Klashnekoff conducting a short speech to an audience about the meaning of his rap name. As aforementioned in my INTRODUCTION, Klashnekoff, in his British-Jamaican accent, declares, '....the Klashnekoff is not no bad man ting....its a freedom ticket, it's a liberty ting...'. Then Klashnekoff raps the first verse and licks shots in his rhymes. Kyza Smirnoff and Skribblah again make their guest appearances along with the Jamaican producer, Joe Buhdah, (real name -R. Douglas). Lyrically, B 4 U DIE is a continuation of Skribblah's last verse from the previous track, PARROWDICE. Thus, the main subject matter delivered by Klashnekoff and his Terra Firma disciples, focuses on asking questions to the Lord (or Jesus Christ) before people die. The lyrics are also a message to people dying in the hood, whatever the causes are:
** guns, samurais, knives, physical body injuries, shooked (i.e. shot down), shanked (i.e. stabbed) etc. **
to go and seek the Lord God to pray for peace.
The hook is very well written and ragga influenced, but I can tell from one listen, that's not Klashnekoff voice. That's not even Kyza Smirnoff or Skribblah rhyming the hook. So that just leaves one possible blood, R. Douglas who happens to sounds more like a reggae artist, but is still a good lyricist to my ears. He says:
[Joe Buhdah - Chorus]
'Before you die my friend (before you die)
go seek thee Lord (go seek thee Lord)
reach out and touch him (reach out and touch him)
and believe in his words (believe in his words)....'
The beats by Joe Buhdah are pleasant to listen to and keep Klashnekoff and his Terra Firma camp maintaining their flawless flow. The beats are a sample of a theme music on 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939 movie) and have the sounds of old fashioned wind instruments. This is Joe Buhdah's creative work for '@ Sure Shot Entertainments'.
7. ALL I GOT (4:00 min)
ALL I GOT was the fourth single I remember seeing on Channel U. It is one of my favourites (after PARROWDICE) and the one I often listen to as I spin that CD. This is particularly because of the excellent talent Klashnekoff has with his wordplay. For example he incorporates phrases and metaphors like:
** ghetto mind state; I traipsed the landscape; seven steps away from heaven (WOW! IMPRESSIVE!); kids with weapons, their parent's need protecting etc.**
all in the right places of his lyrics (IMPRESSIVE AGAIN).
Klashnekoff is pensive and contemplative about all the bad problems like GBH (grievous body harm) and lives lost over pieces of dirty arguments (i.e. domestic violence). Yet in the chorus, Klashnekoff strongly insists that all he's got in the troubled ghetto are his CONSCIOUS LYRICS and his SONS to keep him alive. Also in the chorus, he spits a lot of soft, amazing street poetry in the chorus and he tucks the machine gun in his pocket to do so.
It should already be hitting home how Klashnekoff loves to shoot constructive, beautifully prepared videos. In the video, Klashnekoff takes a trip down memory lane to contemplate on his gentle side of life. Walking through the parks and fields of London, Klashnekoff raps about all that he has seen in the so called '....the ghetto mind state....'.
From my description above, it is obvious that Klashnekoff resembles Nas in his lyrics with the tremendous amount of introspection and passion within his subject matter. He has the natural ability to shoot advanced rhyme schemes, multi-syllables and wordplay like bullets blasting from his mouth . In the video (if anyone has seen this Klashnekoff's delivery matches that of Styles from 'My Life'.
The production handled by Joe Buhdah for '@ Sureshot Entertainments' are really relaxing and warming, painting the sad, but ambitious life in the ghettos of London. The beats are also enriched with a cool violin tone. Add Joe's masterful city production with Klashnekoff's conscious poetry and the sum is a decent URBAN CLASSIC.
So my final thought is ALL I GOT has the best video shoot from Klashnekoff, brilliant enough even to be nominated! But - SCREWING, ALAS - Klashnekoff did not win the award (Dizzee Rascal won that instead).
8. BLACK ROSE (4:04 min)
On BLACK ROSE, Klashnekoff takes a second trip down memory lane. He dedicates this track to a black girl he encountered in the past and started dating. Even in this subject matter, Klashnekoff aims his lyrics in such a way that he deliberately misses bling nonsense and commercial crap. Don't believe me? If you listen to BLACK ROSE and compare it with Jadakiss' 'You Wanna' then you will big up in respect for Klashnekoff.
Klashnekoff executes a storytelling about how he saw one special black girl who studied at College with everything to live for, while he himself was a college dropout with no ambition, smoking weed. Klashnekoff and the so called BLACK ROSE link up on a date. But then it takes a bittersweet turn with Klashnekoff getting his date pregnant by mistake. The pregnant, black girl loses support from her own family, especially the father who throws her out of the crib. So Klashnekoff decides to shelter the homeless, black girl, insisting that he is caring and willing to support her and his baby son. Come to think of it, that baby son must be the child, Klashnekoff spoke about in an interview and rapped in ALL I GOT.
In the second verse, Klashnekoff travels deeper in thought about the time his own father died when he was a kid. In his lyrics, he pays loving tribute to his father for bringing him into the world. He also tells of learning the hard way about the important link between a dad and son. Check out these DOPE lyrics:
'My dear father,
when you died, I cried blood
so much on my I mind
that I needed to discuss
but words won't describe
and time is not enough
but trust, you're my sons
I manifest your love....
....and as I write these words
I'm reminded of the love
and the lessons you taught
still I had to learn the hard way....
....so I took your name, Son of Niah....' (Note: WELL DONE)
Joe Buhdah creates a beautiful production. He adds the sound of heartbeats from the beginning and follows that up with flowery mixtures of harp and piano loops over series of keyboard tempos. The production is perfect for Klashnekoff's storytelling and the mood of it is similar to those romantic beats you normally hear on romantic singles (e.g. Nelly's My Place, LL Cool J's Luv U Better etc.).
I have to admit, I am surprised Klashnekoff didn't release BLACK ROSE as a single. The beats and lyrics sound RADIO FRIENDLY enough to make their way onto Channel U and the radio waves.
9. INTERLUDE (1:12 min)
An interesting skit. Sounds like a sample cut from a British TV soap. Two Metropolitan policemen roll up in their cars to knock (i.e. arrest) a black teenager at 5:00 am because of some alleged midnight robbing and all that sh*t. The acting here is quite funny as well.
The plot of this one relates to every storytelling I've heard so far from Klashnekoff (and his Terra Firma mates).
Rating: Not applicable
10. OUR TIME (3:56 min)
After all THIS TIME my review on the album still isn't over yet! Well f*ck it, I guess it's still MY TIME to continue writing.
To begin with OUR TIME, Lewis Parker returns to create another high quality production. The beats are based on a series of fine bass lines that are unfortunately contaminated with the inaudible female voice of '....I love you....'. The 'I LOVE YOU' additive has practically nothing to do with Klashnekoff's rhymes (as I will show in a moment). Though I don't consider this production to match Lewis Parker's best efforts on ZERO, it's still dope. Once again, Lewis Parker's production for OUR TIME would be good enough for a movie soundtrack in my opinion.
Klashnekoff opens up his lyrical fire again as he gives us advice to stay out of trouble with the police. He starts off by describing how cops love to watch black men on the streets, patiently waiting for their opportunity to catch black individuals in various offences. Klashnekoff declares that it is OUR TIME to learn the difficult lessons of being incarcerated in jail, taken to court and charged with breaking the law. Then he backs up his statement with prime examples - criminals arrested by INSPECTOR MORSE (fictional character / story) and the feds at HEATHROW AIRPORT (real story). Klashnekoff's flow is awesome and straight up dope as he incorporate words like 'George Bush' and 'Inspector Morse (British equivalent of Columbo) to talk about CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Come to think of it, Klashnekoff had every intention of making OUR TIME track as the perfect follow up to the SKIT on track 9.
So allow me (DJ primo) to translate Klashnekoff's subject matter into my WORDS OF WISDOM - Meet the moment of truth / It is the difficulties, trials, hardships that make a cipher (man) complete.
11. TERRA FIRMA ANTHEM INTERLUDE (0:52 min)
A crap skit. Klashnekoff introduces a Jamaican man who volunteers to sing a Terra Firma anthem on stage. Bad Move! The Jamaican man's flow is a lame, annoying piece of reggae singing to the crowd. Guess what? The fans BOO him off stage as they anxiously re-await Klashnekoff.
Myself anxiously awaits the ricochet rapper to. NEXT!
Rating: Not applicable
12. DAGGO MENTALITY (4:01 min)
When I opened up the disc case and examined the inside cover of 'THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF', I made an interesting forensic discovery. I saw an advertisement of DAGGO MENTALITY as a single. Thinking: Did Klashnekoff really make a video of this sh*t. Well, I couldn't recall seeing a video of this track for two reasons:
1. DAGGO MENTALITY was released back in 2001, that's when I knew virtually nothing about Klashnekoff who made his debut back then
2. I followed up Klashnekoff's videos in the order - ITS MURDA, PARROWDICE and then last but not least, ALL I GOT.
So its abvious from my two points that DAGGO MENTALITY was actually Klashnekoff's first single. But since I haven't seen the video, I can't comment on it.
Lyrically, the DAGGO MENTALITY track is a combination of ITS MURDA, JANKROWVILLE and OUR TIME. Klashnekoff uses complex wordplay to describe various situations. His wordplay first focuses on dark environments full of evil murders, loathesome blacks and other 'snakes' (cf. JANKROWVILLE). Then it switches to the minds of people (including Klashnekoff) being flooded with various information and news reports of crime (cf ITS MURDA). Klashnekoff quickly moves his subject matter over to Metropolitan police officers trying to arrest people in the ghetto, including himself and throw them in jail (cf. OUR TIME). For the rest of the track, these subject matters repeat in cycles but are accompanied with wide ranges of interesting examples and vocabulary. This shows Ricochet Klashnekoff's true talent.
Lewis Parker wrote half of the lyrics on this track while Klashnekoff wrote some others (if ANYONE LIVING IN BRITAIN doesn't believe me on this one, grab 'THE SAGAS OF KLAHNEKOFF' and read the cover). Lewis Parkers style of production becomes more evident as I hear more thumping bass lines from A to Z, start to finish of DAGGO MENTALITY. Lewis also disguises the beats beautifly with persistent Jamaican style trumpet sounds. This sounds much better than those stupid trumpets I heard on Nelly's 'Splurge'.
13. INTERLUDE (0:46 min)
A rubbish skit. Worse than the previous one. Features a white lady with a Cockney accent, having a whack conversation with a black boy screaming in tears (LAME!). The subject matter focuses on the white woman calling the English black boy, stinking filth and yelling at him to hood hop like a 'jungle bunny' back to his Afro-Carribean country. The acting from the English white woman is awful, disgraceful and far too forced. NEXT!
Rating: Not applicable
14. SON OF NIAH (4:54 min)
I haven't fainted yet in writing my story, so trust me on this one, blood. Wiping the sweat off my forehead, I finally give my report of the final track, SON OF NIAH.
Aiming my point at the beats, I really tried hard to enjoy the production of AC.WAR.ION, but the beats are somewhat patchy. AC.WAR.ION uses sounds of a simple Afro-Carribean horn that are decent but not very catchy. In some parts of the track, the quality of the beats become really good when AC.WAR.ION places a steady keyboard cadence over the horn. But the keyboard tempo pauses through moments of the track to make way for horrible echoes of ghost voices. Overall, AC.WAR.ION's beat-making is erratic, being good one moment and then bad the next, according to my ear drums. It's not definitely offensive, but when I put Lewis Parker's and Harry Love's instrumental into the equation, AC.WAR.ION's production registers as a negative.
Fortunately, Klashnekoff lyrics raise the quality of what could have been an average track. He adjusts his lyrical flow and it fits perfectly with the otherwise average input of AC.WAR.ION. Now note earlier in my review (cf. BLACK ROSE) that Klashnekoff refers himself as the SON OF NIAH. In other words he dedicates this track to this father, Niah Kandler. He also dedicates SON OF NIAH to his own biological son, his black rose girlfriend (cf. track 8), people in the ghetto and those locked up in Jankrowville.
Now I focus on the subject matter. Klashnekoff spits like Nas on 'Every Ghetto'. He recollects his thoughts, summarising everything he has said in the previous tracks (JANKROWVILLE, BLACK ROSE, DAGGO MENTALITY etc.). In some areas Klashnekoff drops a few lines about:
1. Carrying his father's legacy like the SON OF NIAH
2. The continuous struggle of living in DAGGO times (i.e. ghetto mind state).
And Klashnekoff still ends up sounding brilliantly and at his very best once again. This is the track where he uses the highest number of METAPHORS TO THE EXTREME of his skill. With polysyllable rhymes like:
'....my thoughts grow like herbs
in wild fields of mango
I'm certain mounts of jankrow
I flex like flamingo, I'm buffalo.... (Note: WOW)
....smokin the poisonous vegetable
soakin em herbs, and drawing the vital mineral
channel my energy, reggae my energy
can't you see me, IM A SOLDIER
penetrate the pain barrier....
....It's the continuous struggle
the environment is hustle
I'm stressed out, blowing sessed out
American legends like Gangstarr and Notorious B.I.G. will applaud Klashnekoff, while others like Chingy will get sad and angry.
So to round up here, SON OF NIAH comes off as being like a bonus track or outro rather than a genuine music track.
Well that's my detailed, ballistics report on 'THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF'. Protect ya neck! Big up yourselves. Peace.
To conclude, 'THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF' is practically the UK version of 'ILLMATIC'! For example, ITS MURDA is lyrically a modified version of 'N.Y. State of Mind'. The only difference is the album has a couple of skits that are not even specified on the ALBUM COVER. Therefore, THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF to me seems like a compiled CD. Nevertheless, I have nothing here to hate about this album.
Even if Klashnekoff's album is unprofessionally made, it's still a modern classic. The fact that no one may of heard of Klashnekoff is simply the fact that he seems too underground to be accepted by British music industry. But that is being unfair to a talented street poet who uses formidable skills to address the problems in London. Klashnekoff is much better than 'Blazin Squad' for example!
JUST ONE MORE THING! (Holding my finger up like COLUMBO)
If any British fans of Hip Hop are interested in 'THE SAGAS OF... KLASHNEKOFF they can visit www.amazon.co.uk. Simply type Klashnekoff in the search box of www.amazon.co.uk and the rest is in your hands. Remember, this album is for those underground fans who like to read and study information NOT those who like pop music.
Best beats: ZERO, ITS MURDA, JANKROWVILLE and PARROWDICE
Worst beats: SON OF NIAH (But not too bad)
Best Video: PARROWDICE and ALL I GOT
Worst Video: NONE - The Klashnekoff does not shoot whack videos!
Overall rating for album: 10/10
Total marks = 97, 10 music tracks * 10 = 100
97/100 = 9.7/10 = 10/10 = 5/5 = 5 stars
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 It's Murda
5 B 4 U Die
6 All I Got
7 Black Rose
8 Our Time
9 Daggo Mentality
10 Son of Niah