Hip Hop has changed in the last decade, I mean really has changed. The stuff that was hot in 02’ isn’t even considered marketable in 2012 at all. With that said Hip Hop has found itself in an odd place where there are those who follow, promote, play and do the coon Hip Hop while others are still focused on beats and rhymes. One DJ/Producer who truly embodies that lifestyle of beats and bars is DJ Premier. Even now artists who feel they want to keep it Hip Hop turn to DJ Premier for a track or even just to say something on a track for creditability. Then there is Bumpy Knuckles who is one of the few, very few, old school MCs who still is out here making music… Good music. You take a legendary Producer who still can give you that boom bap sound without sounding old and an old school MC who tweaks his style enough to stay fresh but not enough to just sound like a dick rider trying to be down and you get a great Kolexxxion (see how I did that, yeah I know it’s corny, fuck off).
Kolexxxion sets off with “My Thoughts” where you hear Bumpy set the tone on how bars will have to be respected. Bumpy isn’t trying to be flashy just up front with the bars and Preemo has a sick sinister beat where Bumpy can let loose on. What is crazy and cool is how the whole vibe switches on the next track “Shake The Room”. I hearing Flavor Flav makes me want to hear some new PE (Public Enemy) track. Flav is the only real guest on here, Nas shows up but “Turn Up The Mic” is an old song that Preemo remixed. Speaking of old songs “D’Lah” sounds dated only because many people can’t remember when Allen Iverson had an album somewhere. Pass that “D’Lah” and “P.I.A.N.E” still go hard and it shows how classic both men are. What makes this album crazy is the fact that the beats are old beats.
Some of the songs work like “The Gang Starr Bus”, “The Key” (which sounds like a little brother beat wise to “Click”) and “OwNit”. Not saying the album doesn’t have heat just saying the mix of the old beat and new bars provided by Bumpy really work on those tracks. “wEare aT WaR” which brings up a valid point that I myself have been guilty of a few times and that is illegally downloading music. Off topic moment, if I felt my favorite artists were a sure bet like these two brothers I wouldn’t think twice about charging the purchase to my card. Now back to how Bumpy lyrics make some of the more dated sounding beats come off like the beats could have been made around the same time of some of the latest production credited to Preemo. “FYPAU” is a perfect example, the beat sounds a good ten years old but the way Bumpy throws his aggressive bars on it you would be shocked that the beat was old. Truth be told it’s hard to believe that some people turned down some of these beats.
I know some people who have listened Kolexxxion feel that this sounds like a step back in the days of Hip Hop that are no longer relevant or that both Bumpy and Preem have fell off. Well for me I hear two men who aren’t looking to fit into what Hip Hop has become and are adding to what Hip Hop still has to offer if you look for it. I know people who complain about Jay – Z switching to fit in today’s Hip Hop but will wonder why Preemo won’t switch up his sound to attract a Nicki Minaj or 2 Chainz. Again there lies the biggest issue with Hip Hop, where are we and where should we be? I mean a song like “More Levels” is different for Preemo and Bumpy slightly switched up his style to ride the beat. So something like that song either gets shitted on for being different to the rest of the album and not like most of the beats and bars or doesn’t get mentioned at all because again it’s a different sound for the album. This is one of my favorite albums of the year hands down. Is it classic, no it isn’t but this was an experiment project that worked. If you’re about that real boom bap shit Kolexxxion is that shit.