How often are sequels better than the original?
Ampichino's Da Krazies from 2010 had a handful of great songs (this was one of my favorite tracks of the year) but overall felt like one of Ampichino's weaker releases. Apparently it was just a collection of unreleased songs that he had been sitting on, so it's understandable that the album wasn't up to par with something like Mysery.
Da Krazies 2, however, is the best album I have heard in years and a defining moment for the blossoming Akron rap scene.
The intro sets the album's mood perfectly with descriptive rhymes of ghetto misery over a sparse beat containing little more than a drum beat and violin loop. It also serves as the basis for the album's concept: the world is fucking crazy and there is not a thing you can do about it.
The production on Da Krazies 2 is excellent and helps create a real cohesive feel to the release, something that is rarely achieved in rap music today. Ampichino's comfort zone lies in downbeat melancholy beats and there are definitely numerous tracks that fall in that groove, but more often than not the production goes in some unexpected directions without ever sounding out of place as part of Ampichino's body of work.
Ampichino ft. Sosa "My Life"
The features are absolutely stellar here and not just from the well known rappers in the Bay and Akron. There are still Amp's regular group of Bay (Jacka, Yukmouth, etc.) and Midwest (Young Bossi, Shoboat, Chino Nino, etc.) collaborators, but there are also a slew of relatively unknowns who bring a lot to the table (Sosa, K. Jizzle (lol), King Locust, to name a few). All the guest verses sound like they were tailored for Ampichino's music. He has created a very specific atmosphere with his music and all other rappers have an unspoken understanding that glossing over the darker side of street life to rap about mink coats and pinky rings won't fly with Akron's finest. The closest comparison I can think of is Brotha Lynch Hung; you have to step into his rap world to collaborate with him rather than vice versa.
Of the 29 songs on this double disc only 3 of them are solo tracks, but it never feels like you are not getting enough Ampichino as all the features don't stray too far from his vision. The album is really a testament to how much untapped talent there is in Akron and the rest of the Midwest pushing that mobb music sound.
If you've never heard much of Ampichino then his bluntly dark lyrics might catch you a bit off guard; he doesn't bother much with wordplay or metaphors, but is able to convey real emotion in his rhymes that will resonate with the listener more than your typical gangster rapper.
Ampichino's raps continue to evolve in an interesting manner on Da Krazies 2 and he always manages to drop a line or two in each verse that really sticks in your head. Half the time it is something weird or funny like rapping about going jet-skiiing with your wife and the other half of the time it is something incredibly honest or thought-provoking, such as "this shit mainey as hell, my n***a got killed and they still couldn't pay me to tell."
Props to Amp for still being able to make depressing raps when he gets to smoke weed with hot chicks at exclusive night clubs
Ampichino ft. Shoboat & Gap "W.U.No.A.ME"
Amp goes HARD on this one
One of Ampichino's biggest strengths lies in his ability to tackle heavy subject matters such as domestic violence, drug abuse, or gang violence without ever sounding preachy or like he is advocating any given behavior. He is merely an observer of the crazy world around him, describing the pain and cruelty he and his community is subjected to without ever passing judgment. I would argue that that is a much more powerful way of advocating change rather than making corny "let's end the violence" raps.
Ampichino surrounds himself on this release with fellow local rappers that make up for any shortfalls in technical proficiency with vivid rhymes describing the crime and depression surrounding them.
Do you guys like my new tattoo?
Ampichino ft. K. Jizzle (lol) and Lucci "Betrayal"
If you are already a fan of Ampichino I see no reason why you won't love this album. Amp is continuing to build upon his vision of melancholy and gritty gangster rap, staying true to his original sound while never letting his music become stale or repetitive. Across the two discs there is not a single bad track and it sounds like a great deal of time was spent crafting this project. This is his first album in over a year and it's refreshing to see a rapper taking his time to put together a great album rather than churning out half-assed projects every couple months.
If you have never really taken the time to check out Ampichino's music then this album is probably as good a place to start as any. His solo album Mysery and two Devilz Rejectz releases with Jacka remain three of my favorite rap albums of all time and only repeated listens will determine if Da Krazies 2 ranks among those greats.
What do you guys think of this album???
Is it your favorite release of the year so far???