No, they're not Goodie Mob, OutKast, or Eightball and MJG - but they are "From the Country" -- of the United Kingdom, that is.
Krispy's duo of Microphone D.O.N. and Mr. Wiz have been a presence on the European scene since 1989, when they dropped their first 7 inch single "Coming Through Clear"; but don't call it a comeback, cause they've been here for years. Three EP's, one LP and countless twelve inches later, Krispy is simply following up on their already established legacy. Mr. Wiz provides the beats, Microphone D.O.N. bust the rhymes, and they drop the hip-hop.
One of D.O.N.'s most appealing virtues as an MC is the Jamaican flavor he interjects into his rhymes as they "mash it up" on tracks. The autobiographical "Raised in Rhythm" talks about rapping to reggae beats the way New Yorkers would talk about busting verbals to James Brown or Parliament. It's one of the albums most flavorful and moving cuts.
Beatwise though, something may have been lost in the translation. Even though lyrics addressing the tension between U.K. rappers and their USA counterparts on "Cross the Border" are on point, the beat causes something less than the requisite head nod. The album swings wildly between these extremes; with the lyricism remaining generally on point but the beats going anywhere from medicore to stellar. "Takin It Easy" has a smooth horn loop worthy of Pete Rock, but "It Ain't All About Rap" suffers from an overly simplistic "back to basics" drum beat that really doesn't pack a punch. "Bad 2 Worse" grooves along to a "Back in the Days" feel with a personal look at urban plight, but "After Dark" feels forced and artificial in it's Roots-like musical flow.
The long and short of it is that this certainly isn't a bad album by any means; but that it may appeal more to the chaps overseas who know their legacy. People stateside who are put off by "Country" from our South probably won't be any more patient with the overseas "Country" accent, because the beats don't consistently deliver fatness. For those who feel more adventureous though, Krispy does provide 7 or 8 good songs and excellent lyricism throughout.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: May 24, 1999