ALBUM REVIEW: KANE & SKIN “THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAME”

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This is my first review of an album coming out of BMG$ [BlockExchange Minority Group]. I did see a short live set by Kane  (BMG$) last year at the Stalley show. The Other Side of The Game is promoted as a classroom education on the streets. The parts of the hustle you don’t see. It took me a few songs to catch the feel. I normal don’t review records that are so street-centric but I got a LOX/Mobb Deep type feel from The Other Side of the Game so I did my best to get into the content of the record.

In my opinion, listening to the project in its original sequence order doesn’t due the album justice. What I mean by that is, it’s only after you listen to the entire album do you appreciate the range and diversity on the songs. If you just listen to the first 5 or 6 songs, you may think that you have a understanding of the vibe of the album (and to be honest most reviewers don’t get pass the first 5 or 6 songs before they start writing) but that’s not the case with this album. It has range, you just have to get to it. Once you hear all 16 tracks, then you start to understand that Kane & Skin really mixed up the album in a good way – street records, club records, slower tracks with an R&B feel –  it’s the track sequence doesn’t highlight that. The vibe of the first 5/6 songs are too similar and don’t reflect the true diversity of the album.

I’m big on BARS – true hip hop lyrics – and the album does have some of wordplay that I look for (and personally score really high), yet most of it comes from the features, Ty Nitty does his thing on “Signs Ova Hater” Noah-O jumps on “No Apologies” and this was my first listen to Chino who killed “Bread N Wheat” and “#YEANBOUTDISLIFE.”  Chino’s bars some of the most impressive on the album. Don’t get me wrong Kane and Skin both can rhyme and their voices are distinct enough that you clearly know who is who, it’s a good partnership. The key word for them as lyricist is consistent. There was not a 16 that made me rewind to catch that bar again – at the same time both Kane and Skin consistently display a level of bars that keeps you listening.  Time will tell if they make another album together or explore solo projects – both seems to have the ability to carry songs by themselves.

I normally review an album in sequence order and highlight the songs that stand out to me but as I mentioned earlier, the track order is a bit off so, I’m going to start with the song I feel is the closest to a certified banger…”#YEANBOUTDISLIFE”. It’s not for everyone – trust me – hip hop purest will not love or like this record – it’s Coco, it’s Hot N****, but it’s a certified banger so judge it for what it is…it could play in the club right now. And there is no other song on the album that has that potential. Now would The Lox or Mobb Deep make a club banger?  No. But G-Unit does – DipSet does, so you be the judge. I know it bangs and think has the potential to be a commercial smash.

#YEANBOUTDISLIFE – Kane & Skin ft. Chino

I also feel “Signs Ova Hater”. True words have never been spoken – Some hate now/Some hate later/but it all boils down to a hater. I like the confidence and bravado. That’s hip hop. This song is perfect for a crazy remix too…everyone can talk about haters.

Signs Ova Hater – Kane & Skin ft. Ty Nitty

When I talk about the range on The Other Side of the Game check out “Can You Love Me 4Life” as a good example. It’s a solid track and good change of pace, strong R&B feel.

Can You Love Me 4Life – Kane & Skin ft. JAYI’DELVALLE

I think The Other Side of the Game is a solid project for BMG$. I’m not familiar with the producers on the album: Mazik, JoeSkeet, WayzWhizz, Hollywood Legends but the production works, Kane and Skin match up their flows well. There are street songs on the album  “Fed Songs” “LifeGames” “BlueFlames”- I guess the majority of the songs are street lesson songs.  I’m not sure if that’s the way I would highlighted the project. I think some of the best tracks on the album are not those street lesson songs but the change of pace records. I think the best track on the album is a club record.  I score the album 3.3 mics. This was my first listen to a BMG$ project and I was very impressed. I looking forward to seeing what this album does in the community and really want to see Kane & Skin perform the record live. You can download The Other Side of The Game from DatPiff Click HERE. #WESEEIT

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The Cheats Movement Scoring Scale:

5 mics = classic,

4.5 is a crazy album.

3 mics is average.

2 mics needs work.