Album: From Arts Unknown
Rating: 9 / 10
Reviewer: P The Uptownkid
Oxnard, CA is where this adventure starts out. Kankick is as overlooked, as a producer, as his homeboy and ex-group mate MADLIB (aka Quasimoto) is (or, at least was), but not for much longer. They both started out in ’93 in Oxnard when they became the Lootpack. Kankick separated after a while, but stayed down with the crew as they all set out to put Oxnard on the map. Kan puts it down on his freshman release, “From Artz Unknown” describing the title as being simple… These whole initiatives are from Artz that are unknown, but you’re going to feel it.
Kankick’s production style is identical to his mentor Madlib and one would think that they were listening to a Lootpack or Quasimoto album with DJ Romes on the turntable throughout the disc. There is a total of 19 tracks to display the techniques and style of Kan, although 7 out of the 19 are instrumentals. The other tracks have guest appearance form his whole Oxnard, CA clik.
Every one has an intro nowadays, but this one is not your typical one with the skits or trash talking, just simply, a sax-filled track with audience/background noise in the background.
Live As It Gets f./ Medaphoar & Oh No
One of the best tracks on the album as Madlib’s brother Oh-No rips the track alongside Medaphor with the crazy flow and scratches by DJ Romes. A classic track, in my mind…only if other knew…
The 900’s f./ Kubiq & Shake
Another dope track with a melodic background as Kubiq and Shake (Oxnard representers) lyrically assassinates the track.
Head-banging instrumental with vibes, static and a smooth beat.
Love Hardcore (Underground) f./ Declaime
This track is an acoustic guitar-laced one which features Declaime, also down with the LOOTPACK/Kankick connection. He blesses the track sounding like the Grand Imperial Diamond Shell (Biz Markie’s brother) rappin’ about the dark side of what goes down in the homes of brothers and the love (or assumed love) is tested. Ill lyrics.
A Sight To Sore Eyes f./ The Visionaries
Head-banging track with the featured artist, the Visionaries, from the west coast.
Kanstrumental 2 (Silvery Moon)
An eerie instrumental as Kan samples, “Dance By The Light Of the Silvery Moon” voice of Sadat X over a vibe and horn-laced track with James Brown chuckles going on simultaneously. A track expected from Diamond D.
The Finer Things f. Dr. Oop
Another Oxnard Rep’er over a Kan track as Dr. Oop raps about the “Finer Things In Life”, being not the materialistic things that the brothas now-a-days rap about. Dr. Oop just tries keep it real and keep food on his table while living righteously.
Vibe-filled Instrumental over a dope beat.
Don’t Fight That f./ Planet Asia, Krondon, Phil Da Agony & Montage One
An Underground posse cuts do I for me and with the combo of the Underground king – Planet Asia, The likes of Krondon and Phil Da Agony, they form like Voltron on this cut. Check it out…
Deleting Programs f./ God’s Gift
Yet another Oxnard rapper over an eclectic-vibed track with a harmonic chorus hummin’ in the background, synched in with a clarinet. A well produced effort by Kan which proves his skill behind the boards.
Kanstrumental 4 (Drunk Interlude)
A De La Soul-style Instrumental.
Just Methods f./ Montage One
Montague One blesses another KanKick track as Mon One tells about the every scene in the hood.
Kanstrumental 6 (Spiritual Dojo)
A nice instrumental with a Wu-Tang feel of being in Kankicks dojo, and he’s the Sensei. Sit back and chill…
Toast To The Boogie f./ Declaime & Poppy
Declaime and Poppy welcomes you to their show as they demonstrate why they love to spit them straight, cooled-back lyrics. Kan gives them a head-nodder with DJ Romes cuttin’ it up on the technics. Shout out to Madlib.
On The Lookout f./ Wildchild (Lootpack) & Kombo
Next to Planet Asia, Wildchild (from the Lootpack) is as nice as rapper as you can get. Period. Wildchild rips this track with a Harp playing in the background telling you to “watch out for the industry backstabbers and contracts.”.
All kinds of stuff is happening on this instrumental, but well put together.
A Slum Village-style track with KanKick finally rappin over one of his tracks with DJ Romes on the 1’s and 2’s again.
Overall this album is one of the best of the year… plain and simple. Although being a little known producer, he incorporates his skill into this effort, and already has me looking forward to his next one. This album, which apparently, is only available on CD versus Vinyl and cassette tape (like anyone listens to tapes anymore) is HIGHLY recommended. Go pick it up immediately.