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"Real Life is Stranger than Fiction album review"

Here in Fayetteville, most of us have made that trip to the mall, the grocery store, or even the gas pump and seen some eager artist(s) trying to sell their cd to a stranger in the street. Many of us have even been approached with the proposal " Yo, check out my cd its hot, its only such and such dollars." Oftentimes, its not that you don't want to support the artist, but it's just that you really don't know what you're getting yourself into when buying, because many times you don't know anything about the artist. No one wants to waste their money on a bad cd from "MC I Have a Dream" then they want to waste it on a new bad cd from Snoop Dogg. I have come to the conclusion that while listening to commercial music is always worthwhile and rewarding at times, the independent scene is where it's really at. I will still cover mainstream music, but make more of an effort to cover independent rap through reviews and interviews. Of course, a written article can only do so much, because of course your ears will be the final judge if the music is hot or not. However, this column will form the "bridge between." your ears and that unknown artist in the street.
First, it's important to consider that when judging independent hip -hop music you can't judge the music on the same standards as mainstream music. An incredible talent like Eminem or Kanye West comes once in a lifetime, and if I write that a local rapper's cd is hot, then don't expect it to be as great as Em's or Kanye's latest effort. Independent music is in a class of its own and should be judged as such. My second point is on a more personal and more telling note. I'm a serious hip hop fan . I have not heard EVERYTHING under the sun, and I don't claim that I do, but my hip hop tastes are very diverse. I will not say a local artist cd is hot or not just because it is or isn't conscious rap, Down South, gangsta music, party music or whatever. As seen in the reviews printed in this article, rappers from Pete Rock to Rick Ross to Lupe Fiasco have all been covered on an equal basis regardless of their region or their style of music.
Real Life Is Stranger Then Fiction
With that being said, here is the first local artist review from me featuring Kenansville's own Felony Knowledge. His gift to the streets is titled, Real Life is Stranger then Fiction. First of all, Felony Knowledge (or FK for short) is a conscious rapper with somewhat of an edge. Vocally, his tone is deep and at times preachy, but not in a boring like your high school chemistry teacher, but rather his voice makes you want to pay attention and listen to what he has to say. Lyrically his content resembles the subject matter of a Native Tongues artist, ( De La Soul, Mos Def, and Jungle Brothers) , s FK focuses on his love for the music, the negative aspects of the street and hip hop and elevating your thinking. No talk of big rims, shiny chains, or chasing skirts on this one. Speaking of Native Tongues influence, FK's delivery sounds a bit like Talib Kweli at times. Both tend to spit a rush of hurried lyrics bar for bar which at its best keeps you engaged and gives energy to the tracks without sounding monotone, but at its worst sounds too hurried and jumbled up rhymes in a line. Imagine Slim Thug rapping like Talib Kweli.
The first track is "Declaration Intro" , where FK lets off some steam about ignorant rappers and everything that is bad in the game that he is not. The beat will have your head nodding and its repetition of drums at the end of FK's bars fit his voice like a glove and punctuates his words. The next track that caught my ear is the entertaining" "The Truth" where Felony delivers another solid effort. However, one of the songs that shows FK at his best is the thought provoking and searing "Stand Behind Me," where he drops lines like:
Bad boys never talk we still move in silence/ success is the best revenge that's resort come to violence/ you get rained on if you're not under the umbrella/ I make moves like a King while most possess the four devils/ greed, hate, jealousy and envy……
The weaknesses of Felony's album are pretty much what I mentioned before about his flow being energetic and packed with words and meaning. This can be his gift and his curse as many times he seems to put as many words into each bar as possible and it doesn't ride the beat as well as it could. "Doin His Job" is a stellar track with a hypnotic neck-snapping beat by Cardiairgeez, and verse for verse FK does his thing, but the words to the hooks sound rushed together. If Felony's words were food for thought, sometimes his knowledgeable words would come off as too large of spoonfuls at a time. His words come off much better when he takes his time on tracks such as "I Wanna Talk To You," which features a laidback melodic beat and some acapella breaks where Felony does his thing and gives you time to listen. Also, a guest feature by one of Felony's homies would've been a nice change of pace instead of the entir - Jay Howard


Real Life is Stranger than Fiction, Mission Impossible Vols 1 and 2



.. Alot of people ask me about what do the initials F.K. stand for...it stands for Felony Knaledge(Knowledge)...and in interpretation of the name it means the way I drop knowledge in my raps it ought to be a crime...Getting into my music...I"m not your typical rapper or person for that matter. By that I mean I actually go deeper into my music and lyrical content than most would even dare to go. My music consists of rather than just a couple of songs thrown onto a cd together to call it a project I actually take my time and give you a hundred percent of my thoughts. So basically with me it's more than words...you are getting true emotions, excellent lyricism, cocky sarcasm, and just an everyday down to earth black male giving you his own views and opinions on a variety of topics. Real Life is Stranger Than Fiction "will" be an album that most should cop especially if you are looking for something way more than something to dance to in the clubs. I call it Real Life is Stranger than Fiction because I dont force myself to go outside of the box, but I realized that I am outside of the "box" because my attitude and my actions set me apart from most in a unique way. I offer you way more than just another manufactured artist claiming that he is a hustler, gangbanger, and a self-proclaimed murderer...I'm doing me being me...real talk and no lies...I'm not going to give you raps about rims and the ice on my watch and how many women I've served up. Basically Real Life is Stranger Than Fiction is about "musically" showing many people that there is something else to look forward to and that Hip Hop is not dead, but on a social level its showing a young black male overcoming all of these negative stereotypes and showing that real people dont sacrafice their integrity...album out now