Buckshot (Kenyatta Blake), member of both Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik and co founder of Duck Down Records, has linked up with New Zealand hip hop producer P-Money (Peter Wadams) to give his unique version of backpack rap on BackPack Travels. P-Money, who is also a DJ, has sharpened his skills over the years while working with credible hip hop artists from both New Zealand and the United States. The beats he contributes to this album are quite extraordinary. He has, quite accurately, been able to capture the cool, uptempo East Coast sound characteristic of past eras with his jazzy, soulful samples, clean scratches and upright drum kicks. Emcee wise, Buckshot wastes no time giving his two cents on the rap industry and life with his usual cutting delivery. He appropriately shouts out his home sweet home Brooklyn as do a guest or two on the album. Speaking of guests, a few almost eclipse Buck himself in stealing the show. Their verses are cornucopias of great rhymes. In all, they are Raz Fresco, Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly of Pro Era, T'Nah Apex, Chelsea Reject, David Dallas, and Steele from Smif-N-Wessun. Buckshot's lyrical game is still relatively sharp, but he almost tries to reach too far. Some interesting parts for him are his takes on veteran emcees and the Illuminati theory. BackPack Travels is ambitious for sure, but it tries to be something fresh from the past instead of something new right now. There are definitely some nice moments on the album, even if it seems unnaturally flashy at times.
June 26, 2014