Krizz Kaliko

Son of Sam

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Often thought of as Tech N9Ne's hype man or the Strange Music label's artist number two, rapper Krizz Kaliko has been quite comfortable living in the shadow of his label boss, filling previous releases with enormous guest lists or offering conceptual efforts that already seemed "made for the fans." In its way, Son of Sam is another conceptual effort, as the title refers to Krizz's real name, Sam Watson, but that title is more a matter of pride than a guiding force, because when it comes to guests, there aren't many. Tech is here on the Man Show-worthy "Titties" ("Pink ribbons represent 'em!") plus Ces Cru ("Reckless") and Bizzy ("Girls Like That") steer Krizz toward their comfort zones of thug and strip club, respectively, but past that, there's a smattering of minor names and nothing else but the 100-pecent, break-neck speed Kaliko show to absorb. On "W.A.N.S. (We All Need Sex)," he successfully steers a sex-obsessed rock-rap number that should have the Juggaloos spurting their Faygo, while the twerking, tight "Schizophrenia" flits with dubstep and electro and is good enough to warrant a second date with both. Good times and bad intentions all, but the album winds down with a surprisingly good set of reflective power ballads, kicking off with the cathartic "Why Me" and concluding with the simple but effective "Thank God," where there could be no joy if there wasn't pain. Strange Music's love of the dramatic and dark remains in full effect, so those who think it suburban and silly should remain far away, but Krizz's most solo effort is also the most filling, even if you need to be predisposed to call it "attractive."

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