Packaged in eye-catching album artwork (credit given to Split Enz and the Cat in the Hat), ‘Land Of The Wrong White Crowd’ also shows a great feel for production and catchy choruses – Tipee Tipee Taa Taa by way of example. The variety of production styles on this 15-track album is thoroughly enjoyable – notably it’s the sound of the snares that really connects. Bars Up, which features locals Diss’n’Kuss as well as Joshy E for extra lyrical ferocity, includes some battle bars that are nothing short of skillful. There is braggadocio present here, bringing to mind some of Eminem’s dark persona Slim Shady. The performance sometimes conjures ’80s Biz Markie style, funny rhymes and a lackadaisical flow.
The ideas artistically touch on the ethnic make up of Aotearoa, and how this influences our perspective as New Zealanders. Drinking In The Afternoon reminds me of Home Brew’s 2009 ‘Summer Ale EP’. The Robba (aka Robert Harris) guests on this one, delivering a well-prepared verse. Picture Avondale in the height of summer, bevvies up and the barbie smoking. Harris also helped with mixing and mastering as well as video production, but the balance of musical credits sits with JCK, aka James Castady-Kristament. JCK has a strong theatrical bent and likes to push the lyrical line. ‘Shake it like an epileptic’ in Shake It, feels like he’s being playful, definitely not taking a shot at epileptics. Alongside plenty of arrogance and misogyny he can be chivalrous in an ol’ skool way. This album is a palpable contribution to local rap, offering a unique window on our society, and a lot of lighthearted entertainment with depth.