Album

What Went Right With… Makin’ Enemies by K-Rino?

A review of Makin' Enemies by K-Rino from whatwentrightwith.com

I always write reviews and mention who’s underrated, who’s underexposed, and who’s relegated to the underground, but when it comes to K-Rino all these descriptions would be an understatement. K-Rino is probably the most underrated and underexposed Rapper of all time, in fact he’s so underground that he’s under the underground. K-Rino who admirably perseveres with his non-populist political views, his unashamedly religious and sometimes philosophical lyrical content, has been outright ignored by the Hip-Hop genre which is unfortunate since he’s one of the most talented and ferocious Rappers of all time.

Making music since the eighties, K-Rino’s lyrics, flow, and delivery have all strangely become better year on year, and his 2015 album “Makin’ Enemies” is one of his best. Sometimes his lyrics can be marred by sub-par production (which is another reason why he’s so underrated) but with “Makin’ Enemies” this is less of an issue. Sure there’s some uninspired production here and there but there’s some decent beats too and of course K-Rino brings his trademark, heart-felt, politically-charged lyrics on every single track. Check out the opening song “Makin’ Enemies” for his flawless flow and listen to “Written In Blood” for his exposure of of the United States and the European Caucasians’ history of Imperialism, violence, and prejudice.

Tracks like “Makin’ Enemies”, “Head Punches”, and “Enigma Class” are all songs with a relentless, battle-style lyrical onslaught with K-Rino spitting some hilarious Muhammad Ali-style one-liners; “You’re not a star, you’re an asterisk” (from “Enigma Class”), “You’re so boring, you could make a dude in a coma yawn”, “You’re house [is] so filthy you could sweep the rug under the dirt”, “Your respect is so low that your yes-man even tells you no”, and “After I beat you to death, I might just beat you back to life” (from “Head Punches”).

The album also includes songs like the political “Talk Like This”, the post-apocalyptic “Artificial Existence”, and the aforementioned “Written In Blood” and each of these joints are bleak but brilliant anti-establishment Rap tracks that will please any fan of Conscious Hip-Hop. “Everybody’s Hard” is also a great song with K-Rino poking fun at people who seem to be all talk but no action and there’s also “Where The Love At?” in which he muses on why underground artists remain at the bottom of the pile. Then there’s “The Burden Robe” which is just a fantastically poetic song that’s akin to a Science-Fiction Horror parable or something straight out of The Twilight Zone, and although this song is very reminiscent of Killah Priest’s “Deja Vu”, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Hip-Hop track with content like this anywhere in contemporary Hip-Hop.

With K-Rino’s rapping evolving and improving with every album he makes, this his latest LP contains some of his best work, but that being said there are still some so-so beats especially around the mid-point of the album. If he ever makes an entire LP with production like “Panoramic” (less rapid snares and more steady, head-knodding beats) K-Rino will eventually make a perfect album which will finally do justice to his brilliant lyrics. For now though, this is his most consistent release to date – go get a copy and support real Hip-Hop.

Makin’ Fans.

Beats: 5/10

Rhymes: 10/10

Overall: 7/10

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11 replies »

  1. I believe K – Rino is the most creative storyteller of all time . Songs like deprogrammed , The sessions , The socerrers EP are all unbelievable .

  2. The albums “Deprogrammed” , “The Maven” and “TheRAPeutic” were 10 / 10 for me . Some recent albums you should consider for articles are Ill Bill – “Septagram” , Danegurous – “Divine Tyrant” , Apathy – “Handshakes With Snakes” , Esham – “Dichotomy” , Andy Mineo – “Uncomfortable” & Reel Wolf Productions – “The Underworld 2 : Deluxe Edition” .

    • I remember first hearing hip hop in 1993 . Salt N’ Pepa & Coolio . Since then I’ve heard maybe 10,000 (plus) rappers from both the mainstream and underground and from all genres of hip hop . Of any English language rapper K-Rino has the best storytelling ability . He is also the most well rounded and diverse hip hop artist I’ve ever heard when it comes to subject matter . Anything from horror core to political hip hop he has mastered .

  3. This is my first time hearing K Rino and good lord he is dope. I have not heard someone who is this lyrical, someone who has such a flawless flow.
    How many albums has he actually made? They must be a bucket load!

  4. You should buy all of his “Big 7” albums – “Conception Of Concept” , “Universal Curriculum” , “American Heroes” , “Welcome To Life” , “Intervention” , “Enter The Iron Trap” and “Wizard’s Ransom” . He broke a record across all modern genres of music by dropping 7 studio albums in one day . Those albums of his have some of the best rhymes I’ve ever heard . Each of the 7 contain a very ,very ,very ,very , very , very diverse range of subject matter . There’s something on those albums for every hip hop head out there .

    If K-Rino were to retire this year his solo catalogue alone could satisfy my palate for over a decade . K-Rino is a rapper that can touch the heart of everyone . No matter what race , sexuality , gender , gender identity or religion .

  5. What are your thoughts on Masta Ace? He is just as underrated as K-Rino. In fact, Masta Ace is one of the most underrated rappers of all time. Slaughterhouse, Sittin’ on Chrome, Disposable Arts, and A Long Hot Summer are all classic albums.

    • Masta Ace is definitely one of the all time greats but back in the 90s he wasn’t as underrated as K-Rino. His tracks used to get played on Hip-Hop radio shows, he used to get mentioned in magazines, K-Rino on the other hand never gets any airplay or mention whatsoever. Back when Tim Westwood had a credible Radio 1 show he played this classic track a few times…

      …I’ll probably do an article on Ace at some point.

  6. Masta Ace had a collab single with Eminem called “Hell Bound” and dropped an album remixed and co-produced by M.F. Doom . Eminem has often cited M.A. as one of his biggest influences . Ace’s newer stuff has features from members of The Roots , Big Daddy Kane , Your Old Droog , KRS-One and Chuck D . Ace was a prominent member of The Juice Crew back in the mid 80’s to early 90’s , as well . I don’t see him as underrated at all . He is a great rapper ; but not underrated .

    Guys like K-Rino , Ras Kass , Vinnie Paz and Chino XL continue to drop great music . They are more underrated than M.A. by far . And of those four guys K-Rino is mentioned (by far) the least and is the best lyrically . K-Rino doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page and the guy’s dropped over 50 albums .

  7. “What’s Your Purpose?” and “Blind” by La Coka Nostra are the realest tracks released in the last year . K is the best rapper out there right now when it comes to lyrics . Do any of you think when K verbally slams “the Jews” , “Coons” and “Gays” that he overgeneralizes . I will always have utmost respect for the man . I would love to see K collaborate with Ill Bill , Vinnie Paz , Q-Unique , Snow Goons , Apathy , Celph Titled , Demigodz , A.O.T.P. , Esham , Immortal Technique , I.C.P. , Chris Rivers / Baby Pun , Passionate MC , Dane Kelly / Grhyme Family , Sabac Red , Chino XL , Kool G Rap , Ras Kass , Hopsin , Red Cloud , Sunz Of Man , Killarmy , Bronze Nazareth , Jus Allah , O.C. , Twiztid , Anybody Killa , Del The Funky Homosapien , Gift Of Gab , Wise Intelligent , Virtuoso , Diabolic , One Be Lo / Binary Star , Apollo Brown , Cage , Nine , Termanology , Copywrite , Lecrae , Andy Mineo , Reel Wolf Productions , Merkules and Swollen Members . The problem would be the way he says “Jews” . On this song and on some of his past tracks . Ill Bill and Necro are both Jewish and very respected in the underground . I was discussing with Beat Shak Productions (D.L.P. ??) as to why K has never worked with established underground rappers outside of Texas (other than Canibus , Warbux and DZK) .

    How do you feel about K-Rino when he criticizes “The Jews” ,”Coons” and “Gays” ? I appreciate his music and I understand that we have different views on those topics . Jus Allah , Wise Intelligent , Ras Kass and Brother J have the same views on those groups .

    • I’m not going to defend any lyric that someone else wrote (although a black rapper can say “coon” as many times as he likes).

      All I’ll say is that someone can be simultaneously a bigot and talented; Canibus and Kool G Rap for example – or a talented wife-beater; Big Pun, Axl Rose etc. I can detest the person and what they’ve done but still listen to and appreciate all of those people’s music just like I can watch a Roman Polanski film, recognise he’s talented but also know that he is allegedly a rapist.

      What I don’t do and never will do, is defend a person’s actions like Eminem and Canibus’ fans did under my articles – they could have just defending their skills but they started to make shit up about “he was young”, “his friends were black”, “it’s satire” etc. You can’t defend something you yourself had no part in, all you can argue is whether someone is talented, overrated etc. because that’s subjective. In my opinion Res Kass and K-Rino are very talented rappers.

      If I was to only listen to musicians who morally align with my views then I would be left listening to silence.

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