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Rádio do Canibal (with Benzilla)

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Album Review

Known mostly for being Brother Ali's DJ, Minnesota native BK-One dug into his crates, stocked with rare vinyls from a three-week tour of Brazil, and came up with a concept for his first album, Rádio do Canibal. A classically trained musician and capable DJ but low on production experience, BK recruited Twin Cities homie and up-and-coming beatmaker Benzilla to help piece together a set of tracks strictly from his collection of Brazilian music. From a production standpoint, Rádio do Canibal borders on flawless; Benzilla and BK have crafted remarkably inventive but indelibly hip-hop beatscapes from a variety of unusual entry points, interspersing spoken word testimony from a few renowned Brazilian musicians (Caetano Veloso, Hyldon, and Ivan Tiririca of Banda União Black) as they reflect on the roots of "black music" in their country. The lyrical side is where the album slouches a bit. For every moment of crate-digging joy, there's a cringeworthy line from one of the Rhymesayers camp. Consider this less-than-subtle raunch from Slug on the album opener, "Gititit": "Hush buttercup/What's the rush?/Gonna make the gutters flood when I bust this nut." And longtime hip-hop fans will likely take umbrage with Brother Ali's claim "Slug and me, the new EPMD." Rádio do Canibal's best moments come when guest rappers from outside of the Rhymesayers circle stop by — when Phonte of Little Brother joins Ali and the Grouch over the smoothed-out slap bass loop of "Here I Am," when Black Thought goes solo over the haunting reverb guitar lines of "Philly Boy," and when Murs lustily muses on the joys and pitfalls of young groupies over an unmistakable Gal Costa sample on "Eighteen to Twenty-One." BK and Benzilla also call on the Chicago-based Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to do their thing on top of an infectious electro-funk loop on the extraordinary instrumental track, "Tema do Canibal." But the record's hands-down highlight is "True & Living," which finds Raekwon sounding right at home as he spits slick Big Willy boasts alongside I Self Divine over a lively disco-funk MPB arrangement.

Customer Reviews

Good Album, What

Kind of seems like whoever reviewed this for iTunes had an axe to grind with the Rhymesayers crew. They sound great, and they aren't "where the album slouches a bit." And considering BK-One uses Bro Ali more than anyone else on the record it seems like an interesting sales pitch to diss him and his "cringeworthy" lines. The record is pretty incredible, all around, and that's really the only point I wanted to make, don't let the less than enthusiastic review of the rhymers scare you away, this album is all around good.

Rádio do Canibal (with Benzilla), BK-One
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music
  • Released: Oct 05, 2009

Customer Ratings