Artist: Krazy Race
Album: New World Games
Label: MCR Productions
Rating: 6 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Think of Latino Hiphop and which artists come to mind? Cypress Hill? Chino XL? Frost? Mellow Man Ace? After that it becomes a little harder to think of Latino artists who have had any kind of major success in the Hiphop industry. Well now there’s a new name on the horizon, hoping to break down some barriers and establish himself.
Krazy Race is a veteran on the LA underground scene, performing in the past with Dilated Peoples, Psycho Realm, and Frost, and in the process representing Southern Cali’s Latino Hiphop movement to the fullest. His “New World Games” release promises to focus not only on his skills as a writer and emcee, but on his production skills too, as he shares the work behind the boards with colleagues Matrix, Red-Ice, Nate Fox, Eric C and 5th Battalion.
Its plain that a lot of time has been spent on this album. The intro cut has a real cinematic feel – a short but top-quality instrumental track featuring some beautiful strings and a thumping beat. The only downer is that no-one rhymed on it – it’s begging for a verse.
Luckily the first couple of tracks on here make up for this minor disappoinment. ‘Hydroponic Dreams’ is an ode to weed. Yes its been done countless times before, but I have to admit that the production here by Red-Ice grabbed me and sucked me in. A mellow laidback beat and a catchy sing-song hook combine to make this a cool listening experience. The next track, ‘Y2K’ is a bouncy cut with a distinctly Latin flavour – in this case though the production takes a back seat to the rhyming, as Krazyrace and his homies 7C’s and THC rip shit up.
As the album progresses its hard not to draw parallels with Latino mic murderer Chino XL. Krazy sounds very similar to him both in voice and in style, although he doesn’t overdo it with the similies the way Chino sometimes does.
Take ‘Dedicated’ as an example – a dark brooding 4 minutes where Krazy drops lyrics dedicated to his people and neighbourhoods, backed by a well used Mobb Deep sample; or the old school Ice T flavour of ‘Action Speaks Louder’ where a heavy 808-styled bass and piano keys dominate the track as Krazy schools heads on the ways of violence in the hood.
Standout track for me though is ‘Everlastin’ a bangin’ posse cut featuring DaeLA, Big Rich, LatnSkillz and THC kicking it over a neck snapping beat produced by Eric C. This is hot.
There were a few cuts that pulled the album down a little for me though. I just wasn’t feeling the two ‘Soul Asylum’ tracks at all – they seemed to come off as below average versions of 2pac’s ‘Hail Mary’. The ‘Warcall’ instrumental didn’t do anything for me either – the production seemed a little too “rock-ish”.
Despite this though, it would be a shame if Krazy Race didn’t have some success with this joint – here’s definitely talent there, and this is a solid release.