Krizz Kaliko's catchphrase is already familiar to tens of thousands of Tech N9ne fans. But will Genius, the Kansas City rapper's highly anticipated second album, succeed in making his "Kali, baby" refrain a universally beloved gimmick?
The first week's sales numbers from Billboard indicate that many loyal "Technicians" (ugh) immediately snatched up the album. Genius debuted at #3 on the rap album chart and at #85 on the overall Top 200.
Unlike an infinitely more celebrated Kansas City scribe, I'm not prepared to declare Genius a work of, well, genius. It's good- several moments are really good. But it's far from flawless.
The most immediately engaging song on the album is "Misundertood". My affection for the track, however, is tempered by its alarming resemblance to Janelle Monae's "Many Moons".
Similarly, "Get Off" sounds like a discarded R. Kelly track. The autobiographical "Bipolar" could be mistaken for Andre 3000. And "Choir Boy" is just one of several tracks that evoke Gnarls Barkley. "The Chemical" melds the signature styles of Prince and Nine Inch Nails.
Kaliko clearly has excellent taste. And that leads to another interesting issue raised by Genius. Musically, it sounds like the best-ever Tech N9ne album. So, does Kaliko sound like Tech N9ne? Or has Tech N9ne ridden to the top on his sidekick Kaliko's "genius"?
Not to take anything away from proven savvy of Tech N9ne, but my best guess is that it's all about "Kali, baby."
A week after catching their show, I'm still thinking about Slayer. I'm also looking forward to the Get Up Kids reunion tour. Reggie and the Full Effect's cover of "Raining Blood" brilliantly combines two of my current obsessions.
The hilarious video for Colourmusic's "Yes!" gives a fairly accurate depiction of life here in the central Midwest.
A friend reports that John Doe and the Sadies performed "There Stands the Glass" at their show in Lawrence this week. Here's a rendition from a recent gig.
Kansas City Click: Megan Birdsall sings Wednesday at Jardine's.
Elaine McMillian has assembled a particularly noteworthy lineup of songwriters for her weekly Thursday gig at The Czar Bar.
Friday's Monsters of Metal blowout at the Uptown includes Plague Of Sinai, Feast For Flesh, Soundplay, Watching The Coroner, There's No I In Murder, Gangstas With Cap Guns, The Tards, Marasmus, Moire and At the Left Hand of God. Awesome.
Ad Astra Per Aspera perform Saturday at the Crossroads Info Center.
Millage Gilbert is at Winslow's on Sunday.