Time for me to do one of my rare Hip Hop rap reviews that I really always find a bit harder than normal, but this ep from Dope Knife is really cool. Dope knife is a Liberian American rapper based in Savannah Georgia who brings the experience of a peripatetic refugee upbringing to the mix.
The Ep opens with A Million an old skool freestyle rap with a block crushing bass riff as Dope Knife spits out a rap about all sorts of nasty stuff happening as things go wrong on another drug deal I was almost expecting some to start shouting KRS One at some point.
Art of The Blind (Feat Stic Of Dead Prez) is a low slung ghetto tale with all sorts of weird sounds that you might not expect on a rap tune but well it all works well and Stic easily reminded me why Dead Prez are one of the few rap groups I paid much attention too as his flow works well in this slightly odd setting.
Face Fuck sounds like it should be happening in an alley as we find out just what an awful man the central character in Face Fuck is, in some ways this could be a rap update of The Styrenes Heavy Streets or just the outline for an episode of The Wire as Dope Knife explains the heist that's going down and how another poor emigre has been pulled into the mess.
Squadron Supreme (FT Eze Jackson) has a minimal backing with Eze rapping over the top about drugs and life with the sort of samples you'd hear on Disposable Heroes records back in the 90's as we all wonder if we could become members of The Secret Squadron.
Make it Dope has a properly dank sound as Dope Knife makes sure we know what it takes to Make It Dope as he questions why people get upset that he might use the N word and yes he uses the word, while I try not too, as a white bloke its far more troublesome if I use it. Oh hell this tune is properly wack or is it dope, I really don't have the right vocabulary for this.
The Message (Ft Dana Coppafeel) is a total re-write of the Message that this time talks about acupuncture and pulpits and Rosebud in Citizen Kane this goes off in an out there way, lets face it Dana Coppafeel is a great name for a guest rapper, who adds a good freestyle over it and of course manages to namecheck Melle Mel a good updating.
Life In Bottles is a juiced up rap that lays down Dope Knifes view point and lets us know where he's coming from it ain't pretty but it is cool and well worth hearing as he name checks Jeru The Damaja among others in a woozy laid back style.
Find out more at https://dopeknife.bandcamp.com/ https://www.facebook.com/knifeisdope/