Artist: KrumbsnatchaTitle: Let The Truth Be ToldRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Paine
Twice, Krumbsnatcha has stepped to the plate and walked. No hits, no strikeouts – just sort of came and went. That’s tolerable for a lot of rappers. But KS boasts an endorsement from the Gang Starr Foundation, the Midas ears of Hip-Hop talent proven by M.O.P., Jeru, Bahamadia, and others. But the Boston-born, Krumbsnatcha has shared the critical praise but never the popularity of his predessecors. That may have to change with his third album, Let The Truth Be Told (Golden Eyes Entertainment). While his last album, Respect All Fear None had that throaty Boom-Bap sound, the record seemed geared towards the KRS demographic. However, most of the intended listeners seemed to stay home on that one. So a year and a half later, Krumb has upped his lyrical game, and returned with a snazzier sound that beckons his constant followers, but addresses the radio Rap scene as well.
Lyrically, KS has gained some edge. Let The Truth Be Told reveals a much rougher Krumbsnatcha, not only with a roaring delivery, but also in content matter. Known widely for his top-selling single with M.O.P, “W.O.L.V.E.S.” at the top of the decade, Krumb has stuck much closer to that script. Still citing his Gang Starr Foundation throughout, KS has expanded to hone his own style. The heavily leaked, “Bang, Bang” with Styles P reveals a murderous Krumbsnatcha mixing similes with violence. Though the production concept is a bit cliché after all the, “Shoot ‘Em Up” tracks, the moment stands as a supreme highlight on the album. The very fact that Krumbsnatcha can mesh with the Styles P and Ghostface demographic, while still maintaining the fundamentals that appeals to a Gang Starr purist, is worth mention. Like Cormega or O.C., Krumb operates from an independent level that appeals to backpackers and hustlers alike. This album has officialized that coexistence. Prior, Krumbsnatcha had remained a quotable MC, lyrically too gully for most Dilated Peoples fans, with production too conventional for most Lloyd Banks listeners.
The sound of this album is a true curveball. Many will be bitter at the absence of not-only DJ Premier, but also his greater take on production. While Krumb never made an album crafted largely by Premo, Respect All Fear None, fit a similar bill. Musically, this record compares against the type of production that’s appearing on Jim Jones recent LP as well as Saigon’s Warning Shots album. While Nottz, who executive produces this album, has been the most prevalent producer behind Krumbsnatcha in the last three years, their relationship has evolved. Nottz supplied this album with much more updated sounds. Distortion is a key element in his beats such as “I Do Me” and the concept-lacking, “Boston to VA.” While Nottz hasn’t stepped up this boldly since his work with Snoop Dogg, he still is proving why his ear isn’t yet equipped for the chorus. Throughout Nottz and Krumb’s collaborations, the hooks seem forced and very awkward. Perhaps the last lesson Krumb needs to learn from GURU and Preem, is that a simple chorus is often best for a sharp MC. While Scram Jones and Joey Chavez also contribute to the bill, slept on producer, Emile also adds well to the music motif behind the record. This album relies heavily on distorted Soul samples, hard, simple drum arrangements, and electric keys.
If you’ve struggled to identify with Krumbsnatcha’s solo efforts in the past, Let the Truth Be Told beckons your listen. Buyer be warned, this album no longer may suit the Gang Starr fan who endorses artists looking for that particular sound. With very mature perspectives in his lyrics, KS returns with a more universal sound, and undoubtedly, his most exciting album to date.