T-K.A.S.H. - Turf War Syndrome
By C.Wulf, Platform8470.com
Before you even heard one second of the record, you can easily predict what this is about. The no-nonsense album title and tracklisting, the bloody and threatening artwork, the Guerilla Funk imprint and Paris as the major contributor reveal much: this is revolutionary hip-hop. Hip-hop to wake you and the industry up, hip-hop with a message.
Guerrilla Funk - the label of Paris, Public Enemy, Lench Mob and more - took T-KASH under their wings and offered him the perfect platform to spread his knowledge under the form of street tales. It takes about 40 seconds for 'American Nightmare' to grab your attention and to (re-)introduce the strong-voiced KASH to the world: 'The return of the real, American nightmare, black man with a plan, that's me right there'. The track is a strong call to start improvement and revolution, starting from the inner cities. Just like the rest of the album actually, since it sounds like a long documentary to make people aware, and make them 'move and do som'thin'.
The critical eye on American society in 'Made In America' is poignant and reminds us of a typical Paris track out of the mid90's; one of the best tracks of the album. Beatwise things change with 'In My Drawz' as the joyful and g-funkesque form camouflages the serious message; the singing even reminds us of Nate Dogg in his best days. T-KASH gets some assistance from Paris himself on the title track, and of course both grab their chance to drag the paranoid behaviour of today's politicians through the mud.
Throughout the rest of the album the influences are clear: 'Louder Than Words' is a dancehall track, 'Hustlematic' and 'Write What I See' have Tommy rhymin on funky rhythms, while other tracks (like 'Something To Me' and 'Stay Away') have that rather haunting or melancholic soundtrack feel. To just summarise it, one could state that KASH managed to mix (beatwise and lyrically) the mid and late 90's sounds of Public Enemy, The Coup (also featured on the long version of 'American Nightmare'), of course Paris himself, and even chopped up some Lench Mob, K-Dee and Ice Cube. The result is cool, but tends to be a bit uneven in the long run.
Of course, this is not hip-hop to easily consume, it's music for the engaged listener. The strange thing is: while T-KASH succeeds in making you listen to the words and messages, you only feel the urge to push the repeat button on some of the tracks. Exactly those tracks are enough to tell you that T-KASH is your perfect guide for.