ABK / Anybody Killa

Hatchet Warrior

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Anybody Killa's full-length debut for the Psychopathic collective arrived on the heels of his support of compatriot Blaze Ya Dead Homie on the latter's 1 Less G n da Hood, as well as an appearance at the 2002 Gathering of the Juggalos. Killa, aka ABK, aka Native Funk, aka Jaymo, aka James Lowery, contributes his "Hatchet Warrior" persona to the ever-expanding mythology behind the Insane Clown Posse empire, at the heart of which are the clowns themselves, Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J. Both make their presence felt on Hatchet Warrior, which also features significant contributions from Psychopathic stalwarts Blaze and Esham. A native of the Lumbee tribe, ABK's particular take on the gangsta tradition is shot through with violent Native American imagery. In a spoken introduction, he acts as a mouthpiece for all the "lost warriors," whose blood soaks "into the roots and trees, giving strength to Mother Earth." He laments the loss of his people's land and heralds the arrival of a savior type, the "killa of anybody," who "kills until the future is fulfilled." It's heady stuff, cleverly intersecting Native American lore with the modern-day thug ethos. But it's also the last time ABK clearly states his case without immersing it in grim, short-sighted cliché, diluting his stance not only as a Native American, but as a gangsta. "Come Out to Play," the only track on Hatchet Warrior besides the intro that pays more than lip service to ABK's vaunted lineage, takes a hackneyed approach typical of the entire album. Lines like "Shootin' off my arrows like AKs" and broad references to the "native hydro" -- which may or may not be peyote -- make ABK's act seem gimmicky, not menacing, and certainly don't establish him as a new voice in Native American hip-hop, as the Psychopathic propaganda boasts. Mostly, Hatchet Warrior is a rehash of the Psychopathc posse mystique. References to Faygo abound and shout-outs to Detroit and the Juggalos are frequent, while much of ABK et al.'s raps are workmanlike run-throughs of familiar themes: leering sexism; bloodthirsty, street-level warfare (there are numerous calls for hatchets to be buried in spines); and smirking, weed-induced humor. The self-explanatory "Sticky Icky Situation" features some solid freestyling from Esham and Violent J, but does anyone besides the High Times subscription base really need another shout-out to the mother nature? Likewise, "Ya Neden's Haunted" is a goofy horror comedy with funny, Detroit-centric inside jokes. But its jocularity is incongruent with the majority of Hatchet Warrior, which is dominated by brutal imagery and even more brutal rhyming skills.

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