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By Taylor McAnally

“How’s This For An Intro?” is an excellent question to jump an album off upon. BKnitts clearly is the type of emcee who thinks a lot about the nature of his performance, something I personally always appreciate in an artist. In the second verse of this opening track, he pontificates on denigrators, saying “They probably hate this flow and think I stole it from Chano / well if he’s carrying that torch I guess I’m holding a candle” and goes further in-depth on the subject throughout the rest of the verse. It’s an excellent way to open a record, though perhaps a bit too self-referential/meta for some tastes.

Comparison is a helluva drug. At times I personally get so down the rabbit hole of figuring out who sounds like who that I can’t actually enjoy the music. This is related to the way I ingest music, and indeed how I perceive life in general. So with that in mind, and with a want to handle this way-above-average mixtape as its own beast, here is a list of emcees I thought BKnitts sounds like: Chance the Rapper, Macklemore, Murs, Grieves, Zombie Juice, G Eazy, MGK, a higher octave Brother Ali, Satellite High, my homies Hemingway and Petey Peak, countless others. This wasn’t quite as good an idea I thought it would be. Which is part of the point. Does it even matter if one can disect an artist to the point that every inflection and syllable can be attributed to someone else? Has there ever been an original flow, or are we all just copying neanderthal grunts? Impossible to say or prove, so let’s just enjoy the music.

The production throughout “XXVI” is varied, as promised in the last minute of the intro. I came away continually impressed with both the production itself and the engineering. The people who worked on the backend of these songs definitely know what they’re doing. I would love to give some credit to these talented folks but the soundcloud link was absent of info. I realize that I’m very much in the minority of people who think about this stuff, but still. Especially for tracks like “Nonsense/Hollup” and “Blood”, the sounds used there are arranged so crisply and the mixing/effects are so on point that I intended to pursue more music from those producers. Still, kudos into the ether for them cats.

All in all, “XXVI” is a highly enjoyable piece of music for a variety of moods. It doesn’t make the hugest impression on the listener, but is easily digested and makes one feel very pleasant, even during the more serious introspective moments. The cleverness of the lyrics supercedes the meaning intended many times. To me this is a detriment that can also be a positive. I love smart rappers, but I also see why people don’t want to have to do homework to enjoy their music. This may be an indication of where BKnitts may choose to unfurl and pursue his craft. I would definitely advocate checking this out.

8/10

Notables: “Nonsense/Hollup” “How’s This For An Intro?” “Outage”

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