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CD REVIEW: Killa Kat- Down or Dead 2 Me Vol. 1
By Jon Stewart - 01/10/2006 - 06:11 PM EST

Artist: Killa Kat
Album: Down or Dead 2 Me Vol. 1
CD Review: When I saw the Ninja-dominated cover for this CD I knew I would be in for something different. First, a few questions and some context. How many albums do you think have screaming that doesn’t come from the lead singer but from slaughter in the background? Approximately one? How many albums are named after the desire to be "down" or a devotee of the Insane Clown Posse? Approximately one? The ICP is known for its Horrorcore raps and great drum beats and Killa Kat is a self-described juggalo, or person who admires and follows the ICP’s “don’t give a damn about what you think” attitude.

Now; about the album. The musicality in this creation stands among the best for a rap album. Great beats and excellent production are found CD-wide. Credit Killa Kat. The concept and its development, of the Hatchet Ninja Clan, would be easier to follow if lyrics were supplied with the CD but remains an important element in the originality of the album.

The first two short tracks announce and introduce Killa Kat and the direction the album is headed. “Prolouge”, a clear voiced rap of Ninja carnage is juxtaposed with the slashes, screams, and deaths of vanquished enemies; startling and earning the Parental Advisory. “Intro” begins by asking if you will ‘Stand with the Ninja’ and shows a fascination with an organ as a primary musical element that will permeate the entire work.

“Return of the Killa” again uses an organ sound (actually two organ sounds that wind over each other) with some excellent vocal choices to highlight the question “Are you down?” The following song, “Blazin Hot” with its excellent beat and Eminem-style phrasing more fully develops the Killa Kat persona. For the 5th track, a hypnotic organ, a driving drumbeat, a humorous opening and another Eminem-inspired phrasing for part of the song “Commercial Sh*t” distinguishes that tune from the rest of the album.

“Killa Squad (Ghetto Tactics)” talks about killing rappers and the music compels you to listen and consider…. “Beat Down Caller (Skit)”, Track 7, is a hoot of a game-show putdown. And on and on with this album. Surprises are everywhere, the organ gets spookier and spookier, the beats keep coming and the killing is non-stop for the most of the next 10 tracks.

This album is not for everyone. The lyrics are R-rated and often intense, the concentration on Ninja images is original but could be off-putting to a large audience and the background killings are ever present. For me, Killa Kat definitely has a future with his art. Grade B.


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