The Children of Hope
Sacramento’s Crazy Ballhead begins his fifth album with a story (read by his mom): “Blues was born a bastard child of a little woman named Hope in plantation America.” It’s an indication of what’s to come—13 tracks of rich hip-hop that are as funky as they are educational—and Crazy B’s rhymes have only improved since Livin’ the Plot of My Life’s Novel. “The Underground Railroad” exhibits the emcee’s forceful-but-never-forced flow, while “Collide”—a collaboration with New York’s Musik Generator—is flat-out sinister. “O.G. Corral” has every opportunity to be cheesy, but isn’t. (The beat is more Tarantino than Cowboy Troy.) Avoiding cliché with fresh lyrics and arrangement, all the while teaching the listener (without being preachy), is what Crazy B does best—which is exactly what we need.