The Sun Beckons...

Artist: PenuckleTitle: The Sun Beckons...Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Max Herman

The free flowing Hip-Hop of Penuckle is unquestionably characteristic of his Southern Cali stomping grounds. Yet on The Sun Beckons (Basement), this blunted MC proves to carry a style all his own with his easygoing nature, vivid rhymes and occasional sing-songy flow.

While still a rookie, Penuckle is sure to make a name for himself quickly as he crafts songs that will appeal to the backpackers as much as club goers. As he raps on the roots reggae-flavored “Study Music (Get Ready)”, I can’t stay underground—too many peeps to alert. Listening to this album, it becomes clear that his specialty is storytelling as he goes from unflinchingly describing the crackheads and other characters from his hood one moment (“Ghetto”) to straight clowning while retelling his daily mishaps (“Spittin’ Down The Drain”) the next. And he makes sure to keep the ladies in mind on more than one occasion.

With his minimal yet thumping production, Penuckle brings a little fun into the oft-grave indie market without sacrificing his substance. Unfortunately, he occasionally goes the cornball route like on “Day Off” where he haphazardly uses the melody from The Bangles’ ‘80s hit “Walk Like An Egyptian.” Also, not everyone will appreciate his crooning on cuts like “”Beautiful Life.” For the bulk of this album, though, his adventuresome approach pays off. For fans of laidback but sharp Cali Hip-Hop, this oddly-named MC’s debut is certainly worth the purchase.