Krumbz :: Kontentz Under Pressure ::
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

Punch-line emcees seem to have invaded the rap game lately. To a degree, every emcee uses punch-lines for comic relief or to flex their rap muscles. But as of late, too many rappers have come to rely on punch-lines as their sole way to stand out. The last real "punch-line" rappers to go on to successful careers would probably be Eminem and Canibus, though Canibus' career has been up and down. Other similar rappers have gone on to have decent careers (Chino XL comes to mind), while most have enjoyed their 15 minutes before fading or quitting outright (Jin anyone?). One would think that the relatively low success rate of punch-line emcees would be motivation for rappers to diversify their style, but that hasn't been the case. Krumbz, hailing out of New Jersey, is yet another rapper who relies almost solely on punch-lines to define himself. The result is an album that offers little substance or replay value.

The album's intro is actually promising as producer Cue Labz laces the track with a Primo-like vibe, complete with a dope horn melody and scratched samples. The title track, "Kontentz Under Pressure," quickly kills the vibe as Krumbz declares that he "just want[s] to thank all you dumb bastards for buying my shit, I'ma go get a pack a cigarettes, a large bag of Funyuns, and a deuce of heini[ken]with your money." What follows is typical of the album as Krumbz spits:

"Ayo I'm under pressure, life is like one long semester
So when I write it reflects my feelings through poetic lectures
And I'm measured by critics who scrutinize me, they try to chide me
They all despise me, and it really doesn't surprise me
This is how the fuck I feel so tell me what's the fucking deal?
Ya'll begged for something fucking ill...
well this is something fucking real
From metaphors to concepts, punchlines and nonsense
Phat rhymes, stories and conquests, these are my Kontentz
And chicks love me cause in the bed I'm a fucking savage
The last bitch I fucked is still stuck to the fucking mattress
Fuck that shit, who the fuck wants to fuck a fat bitch
So I fucked her friend and sent her home with the fucking package
Above average, my brains half magic, half bionical
Born sick, I'm 26, and still haven't left the hospital
Rap so tight I can do cartwheels inside of a shoe box
With one hand I can break New York City down into two blocks
Life sucks, damn I don't even know why the hell I'm here
Ya'll don't need to tell me your scared, I can smell the fear
I'm on my way up from the underground like lava in Mount Saint Helens
I'm the hottest thing on earth and there's rumors that Satan's jealous
I tear the roof off with the force of a thousand hurricanes
I shine all the time like my skins been dipped in polyurethane
High octane fuel pumps like blood inside my shit G
When I blow up I'll probably take half of New Jersey with me
Gettin' jiggy with it, fuck that I'm low down and shifty
Runnin' around snatching shit like Tommy Vercetti in Vice City
Life ain't cookies and ham, but I know nookie is grand
Damn... would there be a reason for bitches if pussy came in a can?
I get brain and run, playing me? Don't even try it hun
You'll get fucked every which way like my wet dreams of Heidi Klum
I'll punch you so damn hard that both of your ears will touch
So can it slut or I'll hop in a mack truck and ram it shut..."

The lyrics are nothing too impressive, especially considering Krumbz's flow lacks refinement. The beat is decent, with Cue Labz lacing the track with a mellow piano loop. "K.R.U.M.B.Z." follows and Krumbz's lyrics are once again outshined by the beat. Offering a more upbeat and playful song this time around, it's evident that Cue Labz is more than competent behind the boards. Krumbz himself delivers more forgettable punch-lines and a corny simplistic hook. These two tracks are as good as the album gets. Krumbz isn't horrible behind the mic, but he fails to make an impression.

The album hits low points every time Krumbz reveals his misogynistic view of females. On "The Only One" he tells a story that starts out with the perfect match and ends with a pointless tirade blaming the female for the failure of the relationship. "Sour Milk" is another pointless and unnecessary diss towards females. This is immediately followed by "Bitchez" which is basically the same song with a different beat and lyrics. While Eminem's hilarious and out-of-this world songs dedicated to his ex-wife were probably among the best on his albums, Krumbz anti-female rants just come off as offensive and ignorant.

To Krumbz' credit, he does a decent job on "Ghost in a Shell" where he raps through the perspective of a ghost and "A Bee Cee'z" where he revisits the oft-used technique of rapping with words that all start with the same letter. "Don't Call Me" features N8than Speed and addresses race relations and comes off as a tight track, though Speed outshines Krumbz on his own track.

Overall the beats are what stand out on "Kontentz Under Pressure." Cue Labz comes through time after time with solid production that sets the vibe nicely for the CD. Krumbz's contribution to his own album ultimately brings it down. Aside from his misogynistic lyrics, his flow needs a lot of work and his punch-lines are your typical mixtape-freestyle lines. Tracks like "Goodbye to Yesterday" only expose Krumbz's weaknesses as his flow, combined with story-telling lyrics, fails to keep the listener's attention. Stripped of his average punch-lines Krumbz is a bad rapper, with them he's only decent. "Kontentz Under Pressure" is worth a listen to peep the production, otherwise you can find the lyrical content on any mixtape "freestyle."

Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5.5 of 10

Originally posted: July 5, 2005