Kdot and 9th Uno’s collaboration project was released to online controversy when Kdot informed the Hip-Hop community that producer Norman Krates had passed away, a week-long rumour that spread to other sites. Amidst that, executive producer Critical Bill split with the group due to creative differences. But Krates is alive and Bill is back to his brilliant marketing and promos.

Born of Buckwheats, the Kdot solo album featuring numerous 9th Uno appearances, the duo tackle the roles of depraved, drug-dealing douchebags willing to get high on their own supply for Drugstore Cowboys.

The album is filled with over-the-top humour delivered with a straight face, most obviously on the self-explanatory “Coke to the Kids”, with the two MCs complementing each other’s lyrics, flow and voice, effortlessly trading bars on many of the songs, a technique made even more impressive when joined by D-Sisive for “The C is Still Free.”

Norman Krates lays down a backdrop of gritty, blues-inflected East Coast bangers, although closing track “Twatface,” a highlight on an album bereft of filler, introduces a new direction, with heavy, hard rocking guitars and drums.

DJ Shamann is the go to guy again, taking things up a notch with perfectly picked, precise cuts, such as the choice of Kool Moe Dee for “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.” Krates and Shamann add as much to the group as Kdot and 9th, and together they might just have released the best Canadian hip-hop album of the year.

By Thomas Quinlan (Exclaim.ca)