REVIEW: KLASSIK – YRP (2013)
Klassik has earned himself a spot as Milwaukee’s most promising new hip-hop artists. Radio Milwaukee named him “Solo Artist of the Year” for 2012. He recently opened for Talib Kweli at Summerfest, which only proves his worthiness of this title.
The album opens with the Soul meets IDM (with a touch of Quasimoto-esque voice alteration) track “Haunts Me.” The complexity of the beat continues onto the next track “This is That New.” Drenched synths complement Klassik’s flow as he raps, “Everything sounding the same.” He continues on with “I be too hot to bow out gracefully/ so tell me can somebody say grace for me/ young class at the kitchen, save a plate for these/whack MCs/and that’s envy” and “we end on the speculation/sitting at the table with no reservation and no hesitation/don’t test my patience.” A Hammond organ emphasizes the verse, which demonstrates Klassik’s jazz influences. Dense keys inflect “Overload;” Klassik raps, “this ain’t no wake-up call/this is me breaking the alarm” with prior allusions to Nirvana and Missy Elliot.
“Light” features tender musings and heartfelt singing. “#KeepitKlassik” presents a thunderous main melody with some electronic noodling. On it he states, “I’m a locksmith in the key life.” The pop references progress onward with “Boogie” and its Michael Jackson sampling. The chorus stands out with the lines, “We party to the sunshine/ and we wake up in the moonlight/we came to have a good time/ now everybody boogie.” Slap bass comes to the forefront on the last chorus as the song transitions to a Latin percussion permeated outro. Harpischord opens “Mothership.” On it Klassik praises his mother and promises her a better life. “Head Gone” closes the album with a deep groove. He raps, “ I need you to run away before I show my true colors/ two lovers/ two months/ one broken/ two pieces/ three photos.”
On YRP Klassik establishes that he is not an artist that can easily be pinned down to the genre of hip-hop. He works in flavors from a wide variety of styles. As a rapper he has a great flow. These two attributes combine to make this a stellar release.