Posted in Uganda

Album Review – Krukid: “Black Immigrant Mixtape” (2007)

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with Krukid’s 2007 album “Black Immigrant Mixtape,” which was released around the same time as his subsequent album “Afr-I-Can.” Rather than the pure, relatable, and inspirational lyrics he’s offered in his previous albums, this one leans more to expressing sexual desire and reflecting on daily experiences and petty thoughts, and proudly proclaiming that he’s constantly been “ripping tracks because he’s goon with it” (Track #2 “Goon With It). This album resembles much of the type of hip hop heard on the radio for the past decade or so. I could even go further and label this album as a form of Negro art. The mundane beats and rhythms, the obscure tones and sounds, and the empty lyrics lead me to associate this album with aspects commonly heard and observed in US hip hop.  In contrast to Raisin in the Sun, the album prior to Afr-I-Can, this album does not intend to paint the reality of historical, cultural issues and struggles facing his country. Nor does it give the listener a sense of a black individual trying to voice his opinions on these problems. Instead, Krukid employs more profanity and sexuality in this album as he passionately raps about sex, women, and temptation.

Track 3 off his album, “Welcome to MySpace,” appears to be a promotional track intended to bolster his public image and spread word of his music (as the title might reveal). At both ends of the song, Krukid gives mention of the website link to his Myspace account and spells, with a lighthearted laugh, his name for “those who can’t spell Krukid.” Again, he raps in English all the way through with the general public as his intended audience. Similarly, in Track 13 “Money Maker,” Krukid is urging a woman to shake her butt, what he coins as her “money maker.” He raps, “Shake what mommie gave you, but first you need to do the vibrator. Shake, shake, shake, like a polaroid. Shake until it make money til it’s pouring coins.” An organ riff accompanies the African percussion in the background with a catchy hip hop beat. An elephant-like, trumpet solo in the background gives the song an exotic feeling and makes it very upbeat and catchy. This song encourages a woman to use what she was given,to “take advantage of it” because “it’s gonna advance your budget. It’d be a shame to let go of what it’s in your pants for nothing.” At the same time, this track resembles his third track as a promotional tool, for halfway through the song, he spells out a number “1800- GET SOME” and says that by dialing this number, he’ll give you directions to the place where you can see this girl “shake her stuff.”

Krukid has also sought to proudly and explicitly depict his pride in the success of his career by proudly proclaiming that he’s continuously been “ripping tracks because he’s goon with it” (Track 2 “Goon With It”) and offering to teach aspiring musicians or hip hop artists how to write good music on track 5 “How to Write 101.” As the name implies, this song was designed to be a manual on learning how to write good music.

I was completely thrown off track (so to speak) when I listened to Track 8, “C U Drink Anthem.” Here, Krukid opens with, “Yo! I’m an alcoholic. Part gentleman, part a**hole.” On women, he raps, “different day, different chick, get them loose once I get a little rum juice in them.” He cheers, “Coronas, I need to slow down. Right after we all order one more round.” The chorus repeatedly sings: “Get drunk, get wild, get f***ed up.” He also employs the word “brothers,” which may indicate he’s addressing his close companions aside from the general public at large. Similarly, Track 9 “Smash That” and the tenth called “Kramer” are songs about chicks, cash , strippers, and party nights followed by fights. In the latter track, Krukid reflects his experience at a party late at night—one that clearly illustrates the discriminative issues facing blacks. That night, he got into a fight with a white man, who “flipped them off and [dropped the n bomb.]The atmosphere started to feel a little thicker cause he wouldn’t stop screaming, “He’s a nigga! He’s a nigga!” This is perhaps the only place in his entire album where he compares his personal experiences to issues that are very much real in black culture.

The next song, “Royal Punch,” the shortest on the album, is one that explicitly raps about drinking liquor in a club and reflecting on having a sexual encounter with a woman: “when I get in a woman, I dig her out. Forget the throne, I want the crown of a royal drinker.” The final track begins with Krukid repeatedly telling his companion how “strangers sleep on him.” In terms of the music style, there is a strange, haunting contradiction when a woman is heard singing a 60s, soft rock tune in the background while Krukid raps in a quick-paced, rough tone.

On a whole, this album cannot compete with the originality, creativity, and inspiration vividly seen in Krukid’s other albums. It is merely a recreation of those mediocre US hip hop albums commonly associated with lewd sexuality and crude materialism. Krukid’s astounding ability to create meaningful, insightful lyrics that effectively elucidates issues facing Africans seems to be lost here, but nevertheless, his style remains unique and very much Kru.

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