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Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Adult Contemporary


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"Album Review: K-Beta: Inglorious Beta"

If you're a fan of rap and hip-hop who thinks the entire scene has become diluted and stagnant from a "more of the same" mentality, the future of hip-hop looks bright with the free debut release of Inglorious Beta from DC rapper, K-Beta. For the past few years, the hip-hop scene has been lacking true lyrical talents but K-Beta is an artist who has the power to reshape a rap scene that has lost its potency. After years of "glam rap" and a hip-hop scene more focused on meaningless material bling, the 16-track Inglorious Beta gives fans something money, wealth, and ego can't buy, that of hope, inspiration, and change through powerful messages of life experience that we can all relate to when faced with adversity.
With the release of Inglorious Beta on InnerLoop Records, K-Beta goes back to the early lyrical foundation of rap laid by such notorious pioneers as Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, KRS One and Boogiedown Productions, Eric B & Rakim, Chuck D and more to give hip-hop fans a sound and style that's not only influential but profoundly significant in terms of where both rap and K-Beta came from, the streets and life experience. Rappers have always been at their best when they have something to say that connects to the reality of life, and K-Beta has plenty to say on Inglorious Beta.

To large degree, Inglorious Beta is a raw look at one man's struggle to change his life for the better and the self realization of how that very change is in the palm of his own powerful hand. In a world where so many are afraid to hold themselves accountable for their actions, K-Beta confronts the demons in his life by holding himself responsible for the past and present to carve out his own meaningful future. That alone commands a certain level of respect.

In one of the album's most powerful and poignant tracks, "Life of Crime", K-Beta raps how the odds were against him when he was young and fearless and how he learned to warm to a world of love and devotion after being sent to jail. However, unlike so many who can't find their purpose in life, K-Beta asks why he was chosen for a life of crime but more importantly why he was given a second chance to live life as it was meant to be lived, with a true purpose and a God given talent to inspire through his own potential. Produced by the creatively eclectic J-Scrilla of DC, "Life of Crime" punctuates the rise of K-Beta from the ashes of hopelessness to the levels of greatness as he begins his ascent to the top of the rap world.

Aside from the highly accessible lead single, "Come Closer", featuring the soft and soulful Mina, that taps into the uncertainty of a broken relationship and the complexity of love, Inglorious Beta is one of the most diverse hip-hop albums in years. Not only does Inglorious Beta hit hard on many stylistic levels, but it has a range you don't often find these days in hip-hop. Inglorious spans rap, soul, funk, R&B and even reggae with the spiritual "Soul Cry" in which K-Beta teams with female rapper Sheba who asks why so many choose to live in the dark and let their souls cry when there's a better alternative.

With such tracks as "Surrender", about battling inner demons and needing help, "Outchea", in which K-Beta talks about breaking a generational curse to achieve dreams, "That Black Man", which taps into Beta's frustrations with society and stereotypes, and the non-conformist "Burn Through the Journal", Inglorious Beta is overflowing with universal messages that give the listener something meaningful to take away. It's an album that connects to both the heart and mind in so many different ways each time you revisit the tracks. The most symbolically potent song on the album, "I'm Bleeding" produced by Team Demolition, is a perfect example of K-Beta's true lyrical greatness, as the DC rapper delves into the cause and effect of unplanned pregnancy and how it impacts a woman on the eve of deciding to change her life to make better decisions.

With Inglorious Beta, the best rap album I've heard in years, K-Beta proves that there's a reason why such past pioneers of rap are legends as he steps onto the world stage to begin his own legacy. For most people, everyday life's not about cold cash money, bling and diamond rings or fancy cars. Instead life is about overcoming obstacles, finding the strength within and making better decisions for yourself and family. In the rap world, Inglorious Beta exists on a new, modern day level of the street realities of such legendary hits as Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" and KRS One's "Step Into The World" with the creative one man force of Wu-Tang combined. - The Deadbolt


The problem isn’t party music. The problem is that there’s too much party music. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time (I’ve been known to have some very good times), but if someone who had never seen tv or listened to radio were to watch 106 & Park or flick on Power 106, they’d think all Americans cared about was living the high life. They’d probably also think Rocsi was crazy hot…but I digress. The point is that, like all things in life, we need balance. For every bottle poppin anthem we need something that makes us think, that resonates with our own minds and hearts, that reflects our lives as they actually are, not how we fantasize about them being.

K-Beta is here, and he’s determined to restore that balance on his new album Inglorious Beta. One of a seeming flood of supremely talented artists to come pouring out of the previously overlooked DMV, Beta’s never been afraid to speak his mind – he did name his 2006 project Ni**er the Album – and it’s that willingness to pull back the curtain and reveal his real life, for all its successes and imperfections, that makes Inglorious Beta such a gripping listen. If you’re looking to throw on an album at your next house party that will get booties poppin, you’re going to want to look elsewhere. But if you’re in need of some quality hip-hop, look no further.

We might as well get right down to business with the project’s lead single I’m Bleeding. Centered around a haunting vocal sample (shades of Wayne’s I Feel Like Dying) and slowly pacing beat courtesy of Team Demolition, on Bleeding Beta appropriately lets his pen bleed onto the page and craft narrative driven lines like, “razor cuts under the outer layer, one red drop seeps out with a prayer.” LOL Smiley Face this isn’t. Like Beta, we might as well hit the darkness head on and delve into Suicide next, a track whose lyrical content and J-Scrilla produced beat is lighter than the title might suggest (but not my much) and the banging Surrender, a kinetic cut that serves as an anthem for the downtrodden. It’s important to remember that these tracks are about struggle and pain, but they’re not about giving up. Throughout the album Beta maintains a sense that as dire as the situation may be, there is at the very least a glimmer of hope; even if that hope is sometimes very, very dim.

That’s not to say that all of Inglorious Beta is an exercise in pain. Come Closer switches up the pace significantly, a duet of sorts with Mina that details the collapse of a relationship that was once alive. Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the best example. Let’s try Smoke With Me. A song with the word “smoke in it” has to be lighter, right? Well, yes…kind of. Apparently the chronic mostly frees Beta up to think some deep mother**king thoughts. Wait, I got it. As unlikely as it may sound, on a purely sonic level Soul Cry is probably the album’s most smile-inducing offering, thanks in no small part to some reggae influenced production from Grussle and vocals from Beta that flow in and out of the bass heavy track. And of course I should also throw in Infinite Possibilities, a hypnotizing track that’s essentially about sex positions. What “possibilities” did you think we were talking about? So it’s not exactly D’Angelo’s Untitled. So what? Infinite Possibilities allows the listener to come up for air in the middle of a densely heavy album, and here that’s more than good enough.

The truth is that most of Inglorious Beta falls somewhere in between those relatively narrow ends of the spectrum. Just take Black Business, a booming track that also might be the album’s best. Here Beta is as serious as ever, but the energy he embeds the track with makes you want to get up and go, not lay down. I could also say the same thing for Burn Through the Journal, a head-nodding joint guaranteed to get your neck rocking. Ultimately, here’s the point: Inglorious Beta is not an album that can be listened to lightly. It will demand something from you, and if you’re willing to give it your time, and possibly some small piece of your soul, I guarantee K-Beta will repay you in full, and then some. Proceed accordingly. - DJBooth.Net

"Indiesent Exposure: Bad Rabbits, K-Beta, Nahuatl Sound System"

Next up, we’re tackling some quality Hip-Hop from Northern Virgina’s K-Beta.

This really talented MC from the 703 has been doing this thing in the DC Metro area and beyond for over the past 5 years in various group and solo project endeavors.
K-Beta’s latest project, The Inglorious Beta, displays an engaging lyrical style throughout the album that pairs a diverse mix of production and subject matter, taking on Boom Bap brag tracks, storytelling scenarios and more.

The Inglorious Beta stays lively by not being on the fly by night white T” mentality that seems to be poisoning Hip-Hop as a whole lately.
I personally have had K. Beta’s album in rotation for a while and feel it represents not just Hip-Hop from the DC Metro, but worthy music period.
Here’s K-Beta’s description of the influence behind the The Inglorious Beta:
“The word “inglorious” refers to being in a state of utter shame and disgrace. As it relates to the album, I reflected on all of the trials and tribulations of my life, and searched for perspective through reading, mediating etc. It helped me understand that shame is tool with which many build hiding places. Creating this album has helped me lift up the rug and expose all of the dirt underneath.”

Find out more up-to-date info K-Beta’s projects, happenings and other cool things either over at his official MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/KBetaMax or via his official Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/K_Beta. - Planet Ill

"Review: K-Beta - Inglorious Beta"

True champions are measured by their performance in moments of uncertainty. While they suffer occasional mishaps during the flow of the game, the truest warriors find ways to win when their team needs them the most. Enter K-Beta, and his new album, Inglorious Beta, an intense autobiographical portrait with pain, anger, fury and urgency painted on its multifaceted canvas. By the conclusion of this 70-minute album, a marathon by today’s musical standards, Beta proves he belongs in the pantheon of life’s clutch players. Without question, listeners get a stronger sense of the man behind the music — the critical thinker, the activist, and the analyst.

K-Beta, a native of Centreville, Va., is a relative newcomer to the hip-hop scene, having launched his career in 2004. Two years later, he released an album — titled after the “N-word”— which introduced the world to his aggressive, yet passionate lyrical delivery. Last year, Beta generated a buzz in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia with the release of his ’89 to ’09 mix tape, which saw Beta and others dropping verses over instrumentals from the past 20 years — including Young MC’s “Bust A Move” and Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” among others. Also, Beta had previously teamed up with Sketch, a fellow DMV native, to release an album under the name “Black Irish.” As for Inglorious Beta, an interview clip incorporated into the album’s organ heavy intro says it all. Beta “creates for people who are struggling, the have-nots, the dreamers, [and] the depressed,” the newscaster says.

In many ways, Inglorious Beta serves as the soundtrack for those have-nots, dreamers and depressed people. For instance, the underprivileged can take solace in a song like “Life of Crhyme,” produced by J-Scrilla, which finds Beta reflecting on how his upbringing paved the way for the person who stands before us. “Head of the household, what is you telling me, 25 fresh out the pen with a felony,” Beta rhymes on the track. Then there’s the heartfelt “I’m Bleeding,” with its gripping drum programming and guitar riff, where Beta tells the story of a young girl struggling with an unplanned pregnancy scare. The dreamers will appreciate the message of “That Black Man” and “Outchea.” The former song is an empowering track that touches on black men’s plight in society, their dissociation from the slave mentality and how others perceive them. The latter is about overcoming life’s obstacles and realizing your dreams.

Inglorious Beta is not completely heavy, however. On “Smoke With Me,” Beta and label mate Laelo Hood trade verses about the effects of marijuana on their thinking process. The low-key “DTLR (Down The Line Rhyme),” arguably the album’s centerpiece, features the prominent DMV trio of Oddisee, X.O., and Y.U., otherwise known as “The Diamond District.” The mid-tempo flow of “With The Family” finds Beta acknowledging how his family keeps him grounded as he moves up the latter of success. All told, K-Beta proves on his new album that he empathizes with the people to which his music is intended. “In order to appreciate where I’m going and what I’m contributing to society now,” Beta says on the album’s intro, “it’s a prerequisite to see where I came from and how I got to this point.” In fact, the title Inglorious Beta is completely inaccurate. Only true champions and glorious individuals have the courage to put their flaws on full display for the world to see.
- okayplayer


• The Thundercats – In The Beginning (Mixed by DJ Oh Low) 2004
• K-Beta – Nigger: An Audiobiograhy by K-Beta 2006
• K-Beta – 89 to 09 (Mixed by DJ Alizay) 2009
• K-Beta – Inglorious Beta 2010



The DC Metro area is on the verge of breaking out in the Music & Entertainment industry, becoming a breeding ground
for talented and motivated artists. Respectfully known as the “D.M.V” – The District, Maryland and Virginia consists of
a rather large culturally diverse area of people who all share the love of Hip-Hop. Deriving from parts unknown to the
majority of the hip-hop community comes an undeniable force with ferocious lyrics, a timeless style, and an
astonishing work ethic that will surely pave way to a destined, prosperous future. Live and direct from the 703 area, it’s none other than K-Beta of Inner Loop Records.
K-Beta is a solo artist, but he moves as an army of one. By turning mere partygoers and spectators into believers of his
talents, the public ultimately have witnessed the “it” factor that few artists’ possess. When asked about his audiences'
reaction, K-Beta stated, “Everybody who hears my music is affected positively by it, I have been given a gift that I
don’t fully understand most of the time. All I have to do is get up there and rap and people love it. Ask them.”
With a track record matched by few in the DC Region it’s hard to believe he began his career in 2004, as a member of
local favorites The Thundercats. The road to his present day position and stature was full of tremendous road blocks
that would cause any to forget about their dreams. However, he knew that his true passion was Hip-Hop. K-Beta has
taken the last five years to sharpen and hone his skills by performing multiple times throughout the week in bars,
clubs, or anywhere where a mic and crowd is present. Under the independent label Inner Loop Records, K-Beta has
continuously released thought provoking tracks, MC party anthems and groundbreaking music that has placed him in a
category far surpassed his fellow competitors. In his lyrics he articulates his ambition and intensity, “ I gotta keep it
triflin’ & gritty / until I short circuit every open mic in the city / chasin’ fame like the coyote after the road runner /
leavin’ the club with a pocket full of numbers.”
In 2006 K-Beta released “Nigger the Album” with a name as controversial as this you would never see him hesitate to
promote this well thought-out compilation. Keep in mind this was long before any word of Nas’s yet to be released
album by the same name. Rather than flood the market with mixtape after mixtape, he took his grind on the road,
tearing stages apart from DC to LA over the course of three years. In doing so, he has successfully established himself
as an artist to watch for. In May 2009, he teamed up with DC's #1 DJ, DJ Alizay, to release the seminal mixtape, 89 to
09. The cleverly conceptual project showcased Beta remaking a Hip-hop classic from each year in his own fashion,
while Alizay provided the cuts and mixed the tracks together to create a highly entertaining ride through 20 years of
Hip-Hop. Currently, he is in the studio working hard to release a plethora of music in 2010.
His surroundings make him arguably the most talented, hardest working, and most buzz worthy artists in an arena full
of talented musicians waiting to be discovered. When met with the opportunity to listen to or come out to bear
witness in person at a show, you can be sure to walk away convinced K-Beta has “It”; the most indescribable,
elusive asset that you can only explain as “It”.