K.F. Klik

Gangsta Khemistry

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These days, rap has as many regional variations as the blues had in the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Back then, there were many local blues styles -- Mississippi Delta blues, Chicago blues, Texas blues, Louisiana swamp blues, Piedmont blues, and so on. And similarly, contemporary rapping could be anything from a Dirty South approach to a Philadelphia flow to Italian-language rapping in Milan. When Gangsta Khemistry starts playing, it doesn't take long to realize that K.F. Klik is a Los Angeles group -- from the production style to the rappers' diction, this CD usually says South Central L.A. in no uncertain terms. One of the tunes on this 2002 release is titled "Represent Ya Hood," and there is little doubt that K.F. Klik is representing South Central. Most of the material is right out of the Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Warren G school of L.A. gangsta rap and G-funk; anyone who has listened to those artists extensively won't find Gangsta Khemistry to be the least bit groundbreaking -- certainly not by early-2002 standards. But if K.F. Klik is recycling gangsta beats and gangsta rhymes of the past, at least they're doing it well. While jams like "Represent Your Hood" (which borrows the melody from Rufus & Chaka Khan's 1974 hit "Tell Me Something Good"), "American Pimps," and "L.A." don't point West Coast rap in any new directions, the songs do get credit for being enjoyably funky. When Gangsta Khemistry came out in October 2002, K.F. Klik was hardly the only L.A. group with a strong Dre/Snoop/Warren G influence -- in 2002, countless L.A. rappers were still milking the G-funk sound for all it was worth. Some did it badly, but K.F. Klik does it relatively well on these catchy, if derivative, grooves.

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