When you throw the new Rayko/KRB release Six in the old stereo, the first thing that comes to mind is the halcyon days of the 1990s rolling out with your homies, scoping for hotties, rocking out to Sublime, and likely packing that pipe full o' weed. The mix of hip-hop and alt-rock of Six will surely please fans of that bygone era. Fronted by the vocal talents of Rayko Pipes, the six-song EP is the product of Rayko's pipes and the Kenny Ryan Band, whose namesake handles guitar and sitar duties. Lyrically, Rayko's rhymes are reminiscent of Eminem and Tupac, with the Miami-based MC proclaiming that he is "a dirty little rebel." This often includes a bit of white male angst (and misogynism) as Rayko spins tales of a young man without a "money stack," making heavy use of urban vernacular.
Although Pipes claims that his lyrics have "evolved" beyond what, we're not sure they sure seem retro in practice. "Shady" contains the quarto, "Left her number on my sidekick/Sweet lips, thick hips, and silent/Till I got her in the bedroom and boom.../Little rich girls screamin'." "Miss Marianne" continues in the same vein: "Now thank you in advance for the chance you're giving me/You'll thank me later for favors in your security/Your broken watch is reading that it's 1:13/Let's take this shot, we can bounce and we can hit the sheets." It's not that such lyrics are necessarily bad in today's bling-obsessed world. But they don't match up with the band's claim of enlightenment. The melodies are definitely there, though not as stick-in-your-throat catchy as they could be. On the plus side, the musicianship is topnotch. Fans of Incubus, Hoobastank, Smash Mouth, and G. Love would do well to drop by Rayko's website at www.raykokrb.com.
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