Music News

The Knux

L.A.-by-way-of-N'Awlins brothers Krispy Kream and Rah Al Millio are among a dying breed of hip-hop artists who were signed during that once-magical time of big-money major-label record deals. Joining Interscope in 2006, the duo promptly headed for the Hollywood Hills to live "like Slash and Axl Rose up in '87." With the help of drugs, women, and booze, somehow the Knux spent two years working on Remind Me in 3 Days...,a compelling though at times infuriatingly shallow debut album. What makes this album listenable is that it breaks from an all-too-common hip-hop mold. The release is entirely self-produced by the two classically trained musicians, who rap, sing, and play their own instruments. Sometimes, the brothers sound too much like Outkast ten years too late. But the audacity the Knux display when rapping over tranced-out, stop-start, guitar-propelled beats is impressive. An infectious old-school West Coast vibe fuels the standout track "F!RE (Put It in the Air)." Thumping electro beats and bluesy rock rifts help bolster the tunes "Bang! Bang!" and the sparse downtempo jam "Shine Again." Unfortunately, Krispy and Rah Al's tales of Hollywood excess ("some money to be made, and some bitches to be laid") frequently digress into crass misogyny. "Life in a Cage (Electric)," one of the album's best songs, is tainted by a blatant racial slur against Asian women paired with the vocalization of a sexual act — totally unnecessary in 2008 and surprising that Interscope let it slide. That said, Remind Me in 3 Days... is still catchy, musically groundbreaking, and unlike anything else out right now.
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Braden Ruddy