Kanser's Best Album Yet! (4.5 stars)
, April 3, 2009
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Kanser is a hip-hop crew out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They've been active recording material since about 1997. The rappers here are New MC (aka Zachariah) & Unicus. While they haven't made much noise in the past, their 2005 self-titled album boasted a great updated sound, which is when they really started separating themselves from the pack in my opinion. In 2008, they released "Future Retro Legacy", and it's easily top-5 material of '08, and one of my favorite Minnesota hip-hop albums, period. Much of this is thanks to the excellent production brought by veteran beat-maker Big Jess. He gave the album a beautiful, soulful sound that is arguably his best work to date as well. The chemistry this duo makes with Jess is simply unmatched in Kanser's entire catalog.
While New MC & Unicus are not mind-blowing lyricists, they are indeed superb songwriters, and have very nice flows. Tales of life, struggle, humor, relationships, friendships, and straight up braggadocio populate this variety filled disc of Minnesota hip-hop anthems. There isn't a track here I skip besides an interlude, and my favorites would be "Pleasant", "Coming Out Again (The Sunshine Song)", "Save the Day" (featuring AD of The Crest), "East Lake Lullaby", "Beaut-e", and the two songs Big Jess guest raps on - "We Don't Know Jack" & "Hands On My Time".
All in all, this album holds plenty of nation-wide appeal, and should not be pigeon-holed as just a "local" album. There are plenty of standouts and memorable material that will keep hip-hop heads spinning it for years to come.