Non-fiction books aren’t the most popular thing in the world. Even when “must reads” come along, people are more likely to pick them up because they are trendy rather then because it truly entertains them. The real money is in fiction. But not just any fiction is suitable. If you want to really rake in the dough you have to serve up a juicy plate of scandal and intrigue and you have to find a way to turn into a series. It doesn’t matter whether your books are well written as long as they entertain. So while non-fiction books are more likely to enrich your life with useful information, they tend to be too dense for you to read them too often. Fiction on the other hand lets you escape and allows you to think as much or as little as you wish. The rap game can often reflect this dichotomy. On the one hand you have acts that probably won’t impact your life, but are packaged in a way that makes them damn entertaining. On the other hand you have rappers who might change your life or at the very least will give your mind and thesaurus a work out, but many times they can be too dense for every day listening. K-Rino is such a rapper whose work would be considered “non-fiction.” The man has been dropping heavy lyrical content for well over two decades but has never hit the mainstream. The reason is that his product is one that doesn’t appeal to the average fan for everyday listening. His beats tend to be laid back and dark, his lyrics are complex, and his topic matter is socially conscious. The good thing for rappers like K-Rino is that just like non-fiction books, they don’t need to make the bestsellers list to be successful. K-Rino is well aware of this fact and his latest, “Book Number 7,” is vintage work that will surely satisfy his longtime fans.

The tradition here at Rap Reviews is to quote the best verses from a rapper’s album to give the reader an idea of what he or she is like. That task has never been more difficult as it’s hard to pin point just one verse from K-Rino that will capture your attention. K-Rino’s verse on “Come On Down” is dope:

“I break your microphone in half like the leg of Joe Theisman
If words were rushing yards I would probably win the Heisman
My temp is rising, your chance of survival is barely breathing
You telling lies with your hand on the Bible you damn heathen
Hyperboles that verbally capture ya
Hit your car simultaneously, words slapping the driver and the passenger”

But so is his verse on the intro:

“This is an exorcism
The exoskeleton extract the back with his best flow, listen
Electro vision, the rest is molecular texture of this irregular secular mechanism
You diagnosed with doses of uncontrollable scoliosis, plus liver cirrhosis
Witness the original lyrical everlasting individual
Spiritual, metaphysical mastering
Blasting his own with a wrath never known
The path of the science and math was crafted in stone”

And K-Rino outdoes himself on “Line for Line:”

“Since way back in the days, from K you heard songs
I write like I was the opposite of left and the word wrong
I stay the same but still I keep coming with new trends
You couldn’t change me if I was a twenty and you had two tens
I stun and compress multiple elements into one
Initiated into the rap game by pressing my tongue against the sun
I’m making my route and breaking your clout
Taking you out with ten strips of duct tape on my mouth”

At his heart K-Rino is a battle rapper and probably the best I’ve heard. It can be dense at times and take time to decipher but one can’t deny the dopeness of lines like “this ain’t no birthday party, my sixteens are never sweet.” The heavy battle rhymes can put off listeners but K-Rino also mixes healthy doses of street and reality rap to keep things interesting. “Raised In The Dead End” is dedicated to his South Park neighborhood and could easily be a local anthem. “Pain and Betrayal” finds K-Rino reflecting on the shady situations he’s come across and serves as a warning to others. “Come On Down” is as close as K-Rino will come to a radio friendly hit as Keyza Soze drops a pounding southern beat while Chalie Boy joins K-Rino for a guest verse and to sing the hook:

“Come to down to Texas, partner
Tight flows or anything you need, we got you
Serving you southern hospitality proper
But no diss, you step out of line and we drop you”

K-Rino actually doesn’t sound out of place on the track and rubs off on Chalie Boy as he steps up his verses. K-Rino also doesn’t mind getting conceptual on a few tracks. The intro sets up the album nicely as the premise is archeologists finding one of K-Rino’s rhyme books in the future and awakening his spirit. On “Amnesia” K-Rino takes on the role of a victim of amnesia and throws some twists and turns into the mix. The last track to note is the thirteen minute posse cute, “Multiple Choice Murders,” where over 20 members of his South Park Coalition join him.

K-Rino comes highly recommended. On “Book Number 7” we get the same high quality lyricism K-Rino always brings and some pretty good beats. Instead of producing most of the music, K-Rino gets beats from plenty of different people, helping eliminate filler tracks with boring beats. Production has been one of K-Rino’s weaknesses in the past, but I must say on this album it is not problem. Of course, as solid as the production is, the album as a whole lacks certain things. You won’t find any danceable music on here or even anything remotely catchy or uplifting. I don’t think K-Rino needs any of that on his albums, but if you want pop or radio oriented rap this isn’t the place to get it. If you don’t mind getting your catchy music elsewhere, “Book Number 7” provides plenty of deep and thought provoking music to stimulate your brain.

K-Rino :: Book Number 7
8.5Overall Score