By Eyecalone, Playahata.com
After sharpening his skills and raising his profile on several Bay Area Hip-hop projects, including several albums by The Coup, T-K.A.S.H. has finally released his debut offering, Turf War Syndrome. A product of the Guerrilla Funk camp and mostly produced by fellow firebrand MC and industry veteran Paris, Turf War Syndrome's subject matter comes from the same school of thought. A school of thought where Hip-hop is not just a financial hustle promoting any form of ignorance that's par for the course, but one where Hip-hop is a soundtrack to truth and positive social change - I guess that's the origin of the "hard truth soldiers" moniker that attaches itself to any artist coming out of Paris' camp.
Syndrome comes right out the gate with 2 of the albums best tracks, "American Nightmare and "Made in America", the latter of which reminds me of a something Easy Mo Bee might have produced for the late Tupac Shakur, though T-K.A.S.H's political perspectives are far more developed than anything Tupac ever exhibited. These cuts immediately precede "In My Drawz", a cut with a true West Coast vibe, that had to grow on me a little but eventually became one of my favorite songs on the album. "How to Get Ass (Assassinated)" is another personal favorite of mine, though it's a rather strange 'how-to guide'. The LP despite some uneven moments is kept solid by songs like "Louder Than Words" and "Stay Away", which attempts to answer attempts by people not from 'the hood' to glamorize and romanticize ghetto life. Overall Turf War Syndrome is a solid LP and only made better by the independent and uncensored route it's gone through to get to the people. As an artist T-K.A.S.H has a lot to say and is pretty skilled at saying it. His flow is reminiscent of a mixture of Paris and Boots Riley from The Coup; it's a little less fiery than Paris but a little more lyrical, though not quite as lyrical as Boots Riley but not as laid back either. In my opinion, T-K.A.S.H is another underground artist to watch out for, with the kind of subject matter that the industry wants to keep underground, but he'll need to do more to establish his identity as his voice and delivery remind me a little too much of Paris.
Quality %: B