Release Date: May 15, 2012
Record label: Williams Street
Genre(s): Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
Review Summary: A hip-hop masterpiece to be remembered for years to comeWhen it was revealed that R.A.P. Music would be produced entirely by New York's progressive hip-hop demigod El-P, it's easy to imagine a majority of his fans facepalming in unison. While a generalization, it may not be baseless to assume fans of southern rap do not typically overlap musical taste with their internet nerd-hop cousins.
"We're money-hungry wolves and we down to eat the rich," Killer Mike warns, sounding at once like a trap-rap hustler and an Occupy anarchist. This Dirty South fixture has evolved into the Noam Chomsky of the strip club, and his sixth LP is his best blast of down-home invective yet, especially when he takes down societal ills from the inside – as on the slow-rolling meditation on police violence, "Anywhere but Here." Some of his punditry is pure Che T-shirt prattle, but even when he's arguing that there's no difference between Reagan and Obama, his Ice Cube-style bark tumbles down over harried, aggro beats from indie-eminence El-P and hits like a gut punch of revealed wisdom. Listen to 'R.A.P.
Perhaps more than any producer save for the Bomb Squad crew members, El-P has very consciously avoided making records that come across as bipartisan. His sonic agenda has always very clearly been aimed towards hip-hop listeners of a peculiar faith, oftentimes to the point of being accused as nothing more than a noisemaker by those who prefer their rap music soundtracked by various Hitmen or diggers of crates. Killer Mike, on the other hand, has made a career out of playing much the same role as a lyricist, carving out a niche that began with his I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind mixtape and established him as the premier heir to Ice Cube’s long vacant, angry gangsta party boy sociocommentator throne.
Killer Mike :: R.A.P. MusicWilliams Street RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorDo I need to introduce the ATL's own Killer Mike? He's been putting out consistently good albums since 2003's "Monster." His last album, 2011's "Pl3dge," made at least one RapReviews year-end best-of list (and would have made mine if I had made time to listen to it last year). His music combines the hilariously crass rap that the Dirty South is known for with the kind of intelligent outrage that Ice Cube perfected twenty years ago.
"Hardcore G shit" is what Killer Mike tells us is coming when he opens R.A.P. Music with "Big Beast." He also makes clear it comes from his home town, Atlanta. He's letting you know you're on his turf for this record and he is running the show. His angry bark is loud and high in the mix, nearly drowning out a powerful beat -- provided, as they all are here, by El-P -- with his shouting.
Killer MikeR.A.P. Music[Williams Street; 2012]By Chris Bosman; June 4, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetThe title of Killer Mike's latest album is R.A.P. Music which is a pretty simple title, all things considered. It's also deceptive, because there is a lot going on in this record.
“A no concession policy remains in force,” thunders a familiar voice on “Reagan.” As the right wing in American politics continues to sputter into helpless self-delusion, as they try frantically to airbrush the 40th president’s image, one Atlanta firebrand and avowed 99 percenter is steaming: Killer Mike. New album R.A.P. Music finds Mike on the offensive, taking an axe to the banks, the beltway and the history books.
Does a rapper need to make a truly great album before he's considered one of the best alive? It's a question with no objective answer. Some rappers are phenomenal with verses and punchlines but have no knack for hooks or song structure. Some can do all of those things but lack personality. Some never get the production budget they deserve; many do and just have the worst ear for beats.
Probably best known in the UK, ‘til now at least, as a prominent member of OutKast’s squad of call-upon contributors – he dropped guest rhymes on both Stankonia and Speakerboxxx – Atlanta rapper Killer Mike has been actively releasing solo LPs since 2003’s Monster, his sole major label set. But none have connected with a collective consciousness wider than an already plugged-in sect, not in a fashion comparable to the dirty south-spotlighting commercial successes of Dré and Antwan. R.A.P.
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike's new record (the acronym R.A.P. denotes "Rebellious African People") is difficult to discuss without mentioning El-P, the weirdo NYC rap titan who produced it. Especially since this is El-P's first full-length production project since 2001's underground-famous album The Cold Vein, by Cannibal Ox. The producer does his legacy proud, updating his trademark atonality and distorted synths with intricate percussive tricks (Untitled) and funkier bass lines (Southern Fried) while maintaining the feel of big, belligerent boom bap.
Steeped in tradition but always looking for a better tomorrow, rapper Killer Mike already had an incredibly strong discography before R.A.P. Music landed, but here he hits harder than any of his fans could have hoped. The album was released by the Adult Swim-associated label Williams Street and was produced by the dirty beatmaker and underground favorite El-P, and even if these bullet points are interesting and exciting, they are not the reason this is a vital piece of work.
Fast off the back of last year’s ‘PL3DGE’ LP comes Grind Time Official star Killer Mike’s sixth full-length outing. Built on a somewhat uneasy collaboration between the OutKast protégé and Def Jux founder El-P, it’s a set of two halves whose hands won’t hold. Mike’s an angry, earthy rapper and his standard “hardcore G shit” (‘Big Beast’) chips and bumps against his producer’s strained attempts to lift it skywards with spacey electro noodling (‘Don’t Die’).
Killer Mike has become something of an enigma in today’s hip-hop landscape. The rap veteran actually has a message in his music. In a time of continued turmoil, the genre’s releases haven’t reflected the uncertainty facing the majority of people in the country, instead highlighting partying that allow listeners to indulge in escapism. The Atlanta native is back with his sixth album, R.A.P.
Rebellious African People's music is a concept that is at once straightforward and deceptively complex. Stylistically - operating as the album does within the field of hip-hop - by its own definition it already gives a fair idea what you're likely to hear. Yet that concise, emotive phrase is also a summation of a truth that trickles through the veins of all hip-hop, a genre founded on an ongoing struggle for equality.
Georgia rapper offers stark examination of societal ills on his sixth LP. Marcus J. Moore 2012 "This album was created entirely by Jaime and Mike." Jaime (Meline) being El-P, the iconoclastic producer from Brooklyn, and Mike being Killer Mike (aka Michael Render), the brash MC from Atlanta, Georgia. With all the force captured on R.A.P.