KXNG CROOKED & Bronze Nazareth – “Gravitas” (Album Review)

KXNG CROOKED is a West Coast veteran from Long Beach, California that got his start signing to the infamous Death Row Records in the early 2000’s. Eventually, he left the label in 2004 after they shelved his debut & released a handful of mixtapes that helped grow his profile. This was enhanced by his membership in the now defunct supergroup Slaughterhouse, who would go onto release their 2009 self-titled debut with E1 Music as well as their 2012 sophomore album welcome to: OUR HOUSE with Shady Records before imploding on themselves in 2015. He has gone on to release 4 studio albums since then & for this new one, Bronze Nazareth has been enlisted to produce it in it’s entirety.

The “Emperor’s Arrival” intro finds Crook comparing himself to royalty over some triumphant horns while the next song “Outer Limits” with Hus Kingpin & Killah Priest sees 3 flexing their pen-game over a grimy boom bap beat. The track “From Slavechains to Handcuffs” with Bishop Lamont, Compton Menance & Ras Kass sees the 4 getting conscious over a boom bap over an alluring sample & after the “Still” interlude, the song “I Can Still Remember…” talks about the struggles of the hood over an orchestral instrumental with an intense drum loop. The track “Westside Willie” with P.U.R.E. & Planet Asia sees the 3 interpolating the 1999 Nas joint “Hate Me Now” over an instrumental that enhances the overall charisma while the song ” Change Ur Beliefs” with Bronze & the late Kevlaar 7 sees the 3 getting triumphant over a blissful beat.

After the  “Precious Moments” interlude with Snoop Dogg, the song “French Connection” with Bronze, La the Darkman & TriState sees the 4 getting mafioso over a vintage soul sample. The track “Soul Drenched” talks about having his 3rd eye open over a soulful beat & then after the “Get Me Rich” outro, we are treated to 3 decent remixes to 3 different songs that’ve been previously released. First one being Ghostface Killah‘s “Buckingham Palace” off that Lost Tapes album he did with Big Ghost Ltd. that came out last October, second one being “King Kong” off of Forever MC ‘s self-titled compilation with It’s Different from last March & then “Fresh from the Morgue” off of Bronze’s 2011 sophomore album School for the Blindman.

This is a solid effort from Crook overall. There’s way too many features & I can do without the remixes, but Crook reaffirms his status as of the illest MCs to come out of the LBC whereas Bronze Nazareth accompanies him with rich & colorful production.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 26 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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