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Kno "Death Is Silent" (2010) album review.
Kno's "Death Is Silent" album cover.
People who are familiar with the underground hip hop scene have probably heard of the group, "Cunninlynguists". Cunninlynguists are a hip hop trio based out of Lexington, Kentucky. The current lineup of the group consists of; Kno, Natti, and Deacon the Villian. In 2010, Kno branched out to record his first solo album titled, "Death Is Silent." This album was one of my favorites from 2010. I'm a big fan of Cunninlynguists in general, so when my boy told me about Kno's solo album, I definitely wanted to hear it. I'm not an expert music critic by any means, I'm just a fan who wants to spread the word about great underground artists. Please read on.
Kno and "Death Is Silent".
Kno is the primary producer for Cunninlyguists, but he is an occasional emcee on their projects. Kno has been described as "one of the top loop-miners East of the Mississippi". He has been greatly praised for his production skills, and has a strong following among underground hip hop fans. Many times when an artists takes on the role of emcee and producer, one of the areas either lacks or gets little attention. Although Kno takes on the role of emcee and producer for "Death Is Silent", his production on this album definitely isn't lacking. Kno also holds his own as an emcee, and captures the theme and message of the album in great depth. Here are my thoughts on the album.
Thoughts on "Death is Silent".
The album starts out with the title track, "Death Is Silent". This tracks starts out with a sample from electronic group "White Noise's" 1969 song, "The Visitation" This track is short, but sets the tone and theme for what is to come. Track 2 titled, "If You Cry" has a feature appearance from Kno's bandmate from Cunninlynguists, Natti. This song basically blends in and goes along with how the first track ends. Both Natti and Kno have nice verses, and it's one of my favorites from the album. Track three which is titled, "Loneliness" features Kno's other Cunninlynguist partner, Deacon the Villain on the hook. Nemo Archida also contributes a verse on the song.
Track 4 is another great song titled, "La Petite Mort"(Come Die with Me). The production on this song is terrific, and I really enjoyed Kno's second verse. "Rhythm of the Rain" is track number 5 on the album, and features guest appearances from, Thee Tom Hardy and Tunji. Thee Tom Hardy has a very nice flow and shines greatly on the first verse of the song. This guy is very underrated in my opinion, and I expect great things to come from him. Track number 6 titled, "Spread Your Wings" has a great sample. Deacon the Villain makes another appearance on this track on the first verse. Deacon and Kno complement each other well over another nice beat from Kno. Track 7 is titled "Smile(They Brought Your Coffin In)". It's a short interlude that continues the theme of the album overall.
"Graveyard" is the eighth track on the album and features a guest appearance from Sheisty Khrist. This is probably the only song on the album that somewhat deviates from the mood of the album from a lyrical standpoint, but it has a nice beat by Kno. Emcee, Tonedeff makes an appearance on track 9 titled, "I Wish I Was Dead". Tonedeff is known for his fast tongue flipping rhymes, but he slows down on this track. The drums on this track are nice, and the hook is pretty good as well. Deacon the Villain makes his third and final appearance on track ten titled, "They Told Me". It's another one of my favorites from the album. Natti makes another appearance with Substantial on track number 11, "When I Was Young". This track has a nice beat with Kno and the other two emcees reminiscing on days of their youth and not having much, but appreciating the small things in life.
Tunji makes another appearance on track 12 titled, "Not At the End". This is my personal favorite from the album. I absolutely love the sample and the production. The lyrics are equally as good in my opinion. Tunji's line; "If death is silent then I'm living in surround sound" is one of my favorite lines from the album in general. The hook on this song by Kno; "so even when I feel down, I'm always looking ahead because I'm here now", is excellent as well. Kno's verse on this track is awesome as well. The final track is titled, "The New Day(Death Has No Meaning)". It basically sums up what the album stands for, and has scratching and cutting of various messages over a smooth track by Kno.
If I had to rate this album, I would rate it 4.7 out of 5. It has terrific production, and the samples that Kno use fit the tone and mood of the album. Kno's rhymes are better on some song than others, but his production skills are where he shines best at. However, the lineup of talented guest appearances help round out what is an excellent album in my opinion. I saw an interview on Youtube with Cunninlynguists awhile back, and the interviewer asked Kno why did he record a solo album. Kno responded by saying "he doesn't rap unless he has something to talk about". He also related the album to his feelings about death, his mortality, and his grandmother. I'm happy to see that there are artists who relate personal experiences to their music. I think that is another thing that helps his shine on this album. Thanks for reading.