Kalil Kash is another overdue entrant on our e-pages, having long ago finding his prior project The Exit Method an enjoyable listen, but never finding time to get it reviewed or featured on our e-pages. Well, luckily the Newark, New Jersey MC has continued to put out material, culminating for now in The Madness Mixtape, a 10-track project, available for free download.
A casual listen starts with a smooth intro, and Kalil rides in with a flow that we have previously described as a “mix of friendly flow and condescending lecture,” not a bad thing at all, as his delivery is almost conversational. A nicely chosen musical backdrop is a great start to The Madness Mixtape, nothing too harsh, nothing too experimental, just a nice track.
A solid drop over the classic “Dwyck”-track, and another relaxing head-nodder featuring Otis Clapp kept The Madness Mixtape moving along well. Kalil Kash’s habit of dropping clever obscure references lets the listener play a game of mental Jeopardy! as flows along, and those who enjoy such mental exercises in their hip hop (like me), will enjoy playing along at home.
I enjoyed “Can I Live,” “Dilla! Dilla! Dilla!” featuring Mr. Muthfuckin’ Esquire, and “Dear Moleskine”. A couple of verbal hiccups in “Best In Flow” and what I felt was a slightly overpowering instrumental in “John Blaze” were points I thought took away from the play-straight-throughness for me. “Let Me Take The Floor” left me indifferent, while “Hate In My Blood” might grow on me.
A couple thoughts. One, while Kalil Kash stays in a fairly laid-back, rap-easy-listening vocal vibe, after recently seeing him on stage at Bars Mitzvah emphatically reciting “Be Gone” alongside Top $ Raz, I wouldn’t have minded a more animated Kalil Kash here and there. Two, and maybe a few more listens are necessary, but I seem to remember Kalil Kash spitting a bit more personal storytelling and self-reflection on The Exit Method, something I thought he does particularly well, so more of the “20 Years,” and “1985″ type of tracks would have been nice. But overall, Kalil Kash has always weaved lyrical introspection and observation with clear enunciation and intelligent references over fairly well-chosen beats, and this continues with The Madness Mixtape.
Listen/Download: Kalil Kash – The Madness [MIXTAPE]