The first pairing of Mad Dukez and Fresh Kils seemed ideal to me – a rising Buffalo rapper tag teaming with an established and cutting edge Canadian producer. With apologies to Dukez I was such a fan of that pairing that I may have been a bit underwhelmed by his recent “Volume 4” release, which was intended more as a mixtape than as a full project anyway. “The Open Affairs EP” is both a chance to give Mad Dukez his just due, and happily it reunites him with Fresh Kils too.
“What I’m living’s prolific, spittin’ that affliction
Rollin up the charts, got a name to top the list with
Turnin full types off the thrills of the mission
Citywide daps living off the recognition
If you ever knew about it – like it and love
Got a dream called waiting and I fit like a glove
The defiant emcee, now I ain’t far from above
My name dot com – you should hit the shit up!”
“World Wide” recaptures the earlier magic of their partnership as Kils layers his MPC stylee deftly, finding the right level between making his instrumental have punch and not overwhelming his emcee cohort. The vocal samples add a fun emphasis to the song, and the cuts by Uncle Fester tie it together well. This is all true times two on “Passed Preachin'” featuring stellar Canadian rapper Relic. It’s that jazzy mixture of boom bap that mixes modern production techniques Guru would recognize on “Jazzamatazz.” If you’re looking for Kils more electronic and punchy style though, “Round Rock” is your ticket.
As is often the case with a Mad Dukez album, the very shortness of it becomes a limiting factor in reviewing it, as there’s only so much to write about 6 tracks that clock in at just under 20 minutes total. There’s a definite trend here though and one that’s not to be ignored by either Mad Dukez or the hip-hop public at large – Fresh Kils truly brings the best out of him as an emcee. The more they work together, the better they get.