This album was released on July 26th this year. If you follow the music discussion community on YouTube, chances are you’re aware of Granddad Woolly. He’s been running a YouTube channel in which he reviews Hip Hop albums, along with other random stuff like food and I think movies. I’m not completely sure if he does movies. I might be wrong about that. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a review from him for anything other than an album. He might just do music these days. He’s also a member of Dead End Gaming, and frequently collaborates with other music critics such as Dead End Hip Hop, TheNeedleDrop, and Luke James—not the singer. Anyway, I’ve known Granddad Woolly was a rapper for a while now, but I think I heard a song of his a long ass time ago, and I wasn’t too crazy about it at the time. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t the kinda thing that I’d ever wanna listen to again and genuinely get enjoyment out of. With that said, he dropped this album in July and made it very clear that he worked incredibly hard on it, so I figured I would give it a chance. He said he worked on it for about half a decade, so I didn’t think there was anyway it could end up being complete trash. Before it officially dropped, he had an online listening party in a livestream on YouTube, and I showed up for it. I was actually really surprised by how good it sounded at the time. There were only like 20 other niggas watching the livestream, so it was a pretty small thing. It was cool though. I’d rather it be that way because I was actually able to be part of the discussion instead of just getting buried in the chat. So yeah, that was the only time I heard the album before downloading it recently for this review. I thought it was great at the time though. In fact, I don’t think there was a single track I disliked. I haven’t listened to it since then since I’ve been saving it for this review, but now I’m gonna check it out again. Since I really liked it when I first heard it, I’m expecting this to be really great. I don’t really remember it though since I’ve only heard it once. Hopefully I don’t feel differently now. Anyway, every song is produced by an artist named CHIKANO. I actually don’t really have any background info on him, so you’ll have to forgive me for that. Sorry lol.
Thankfully, after listening to it again, I think the album is just as great as I initially did. There are still zero tracks that I dislike, so I’ll talk about it in the proper order of the tracklist. It starts off with It’s Alive!, which is one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. I think the cinematic production from CHIKANO is pretty nice, and I really love Woolly’s flow on it. He sounds great. The song is long as hell because the intro lasts over a minute and a half long, but it doesn’t feel like a waste of time. It’s just a nice set up for the rest of the project. It’s actually the longest track on the album. The production from CHIKANO sounds like it could be the soundtrack to an old school horror film. Speaking of retro horror, the concept of this album is really Frankenstein-ish. The “experiment” in the title of the album is referring to the monster that CHIKANO & Granddad Woolly have created, KanoDadda. I’m assuming it’s supposed to be a metaphor for their actual music, but it’s possible that it was meant to be taken literally as well. My favorite part of It’s Alive! is definitely the way it ends. The beat switches up for the final verse, and the tempo completely changes. Granddad Woolly killed that shit though. His flow was really nice. So yeah, I love that song. It’s dope af. It’s followed by Run, which actually ended up being one of the weaker tracks for me. I don’t think it’s a bad song at all obviously, but it’s not as great to me as most of the others. I think the production is pretty cool, but it’s not amazing or anything. The hook from Woolly is cool, and I liked his rapping too. It just doesn’t blow me away like the first song did. Again, I think it’s a good song. It’s just not a highlight for me. The following track, Survivor’s Guilt, is the first track in which the production really stands out. It has kind of an 80s Pop aesthetic. In hindsight, I probably should’ve listened to this album and posted my review around Halloween given the lyrical content. Fuck it. Better late than never. Anyway, there’s not really any aspect of the song that I have an issue with. It’s not an amazing track or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it quite a bit. The next song, We Watchin’, is probably my favorite track on the whole album. The production is absolutely stellar, and I think the hook from Granddad is fucking awesome. The way he says “OH, WE WATCHIN’, NIGGA” sounds really fucking cool. I also appreciated his pronunciation of the word “fifteen” as “FIDDEEN,” but that’s something you wouldn’t really get unless you’re familiar with his channel. He sounds really dope on this track, and I thought the Rakim references were cool. The song kinda switches up towards the end, which was a nice touch. It just adds another layer to the track, which is cool because it was already one of my favorites. I think it’s dope af. The following song, Pablo, didn’t blow me away as much, but it’s still quite good. I wasn’t super impressed by the production, but the switch towards the end was pretty tight. I also loved Woolly’s rapping; the references to different visual artists like Picasso & Rockwell were dope. It’s followed by The Bookmark, which is one of the most interesting songs on the album. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorites personally, but there are things I do love about it. I think the production is pretty tight, and I actually think Woolly killed it. He sounded awesome to me. My issue with the song is really just a personal thing. I think the longwinded electric guitar solo from Joe Alvernaz is well performed, but if you know me you know that I’ve never really been into electric guitars. There are some songs where I really like it, but for the most part I just don’t care for the sound they make. It didn’t ruin the track for me. I still like the song, and it’s not even my least favorite track, but that’s mainly just because I love the rapping from Granddad so much. The following song is the closest thing to a title track, and it’s definitely one of the best on the album in my opinion. Woolly killed this shit, and I love the production.
Couple crooked characters
Stay up in the pocket like a derringer
Shootin’ from the Hip
Hop back, but don’t trip
I feel like the second half of the album is where Woolly really flexed his storytelling skills. I actually really love every song on the second half of the album. I think they’re all dope af. I don’t think I have much to say about a lot of them because I really don’t have any criticisms at all honestly. I was shocked by how good it was. During the listening party livestream, I remember a lot of people seeming to think the production was more impressive than Woolly’s rapping. Everyone was just talking about how great CHIKANO’s beats are. I was kinda the opposite though. I definitely think the beats are really great, but if you actually pay attention to the writing from Woolly you can tell he put a lot of time and effort into it. You can’t just put stories like this together in a few hours.
Let the countdown commence
Our patients must equip the same level of suspense
For the monster in our minds is the deadliest of weapons
We shall call him KanoDadda and he represents the VII
This shit is fire, man. I love it. The following track, Mad Scientists, is even better in my opinion. I think I remember this being the song that everyone was the most impressed by during the livestream. I definitely see why. First of all, that beat is fucking awesome. It also feels a lot more uptempo than any of the other tracks. I think this is the track that stands out the most sonically. It’s just got a really gratifying cadence to it. The production is superb, and Woolly’s flow is smoother than fuck. I feel like if I was driving while listening to this I’d get pulled over for speeding. I really love how he foreshadowed the content of track 10 during the final verse too.
She’s all up in my head, got the Granddad crazy
‘KANO know about? Maybe, so
Told him I’d be back, not thinkin’ ’bout the safety
And the streets been a little wild lately
See, that’s what I mean when I say he clearly put a lot of effort into the writing. It’s all one cohesive package. The song is dope af. Oh, I almost forgot to mention… Shoutout to DJ Kronic for killing it with the scratches. That was a great addition. Anyway, it’s followed by Bang Bang / The Environment, which is yet another fantastic song. The storytelling was already very prominent on this album, but I feel like this is the track where he really just gives it his all and completely goes in. First of all, the production from CHIKANO is really great, and this is the hardest, most gangsta song on the whole project.
Least in the world’s picture
He may have a thousand words
But no respect for a scripture
He spends the first part of the track describing a dude who was raised in the streets. He’s not exactly a “thug,” but he’s from a rough area, so he’s not a soft dude. Anyway, the story involves some bitch ass cops being fuckniggas as usual.
Confiscated his rights
All ’cause of the sight they had was not straight, and
They feelin’ their nerves racin’
‘Cause this nigga is a threat with signs of agitation
Now this nigga’s not a saint, but never was he a satan
He still don’t know what law he’s been breakin’
He asked what he did; that leads to confrontation
That leads to them tasin’
It leads to him shakin’
The way this part of the song ends is pretty fucked up, as you probably could’ve guessed from the lines I just quoted. Not to sound like a basic Hip Hop fan in a YouTube comment section, but uh… It’s real shit, mayne. It’s really well done too. The way Bang Bang transitions into The Environment is very dark, but it’s dope. The beat on The Environment kinda sounds like something Nas would’ve rapped over for Street’s Disciple. Normally that’d be a bad thing, but there’s one reason that this beat actually ends up being really great, and it’s the percussion. It’s crazy what a good drum pattern can do. This shit sounds awesome, man. Woolly murdered it too. I feel like his delivery was more aggressive here. He sounded kinda angry. It’s dope as hell. I think I like The Environment even more than Bang Bang. It’s an awesome track. The following song, Blk.Wtr.Mst, is the one that was foreshadowed on Mad Scientists. The title and concept is inspired by a uh… A thing… I don’t know what to refer to it as. I’ll just stick with “thing.” It’s inspired by a thing from Dragon Ball Z called black water mist. It’s basically mist that turns anyone who comes in contact with it into a demon. You’re probably wondering how I know this. As I’ve mentioned before in past reviews, I’m starting to become notorious on social media due to my anti-weeb rhetoric. It is true that I hate anime and people who watch it, but I myself used to be really into Dragon Ball. I’ve seen the entire Dragon Ball series, and most of Dragon Ball Z. I never bothered with Dragon Ball GT. The reason I never finished Dragon Ball Z is because it’s significantly worse than Dragon Ball. However, the only reason I ever even got into Dragon Ball was because I thought the Budokai Tenkaichi games were super fun. I never liked the regular Budokai games though. Why the fuck am I talking about this? Anyway, Woolly basically takes the idea of the black water mist, and uses it in this song as a poison that a succubus utilizes to fuck him over. I mean, I don’t think she’s a literal succubus. She’s just a foul ass nasty ass ratchet vile toxic gutter-bucket slum-donkey. In other words, she’s an evil woman who seduces Woolly and then does evil shit to him. I think it has another one of the best beats on the album. This actually might’ve been my favorite song the first time I listened to the album. It’s followed by the penultimate track, The Final Peace. I think this track has one of the best beats on the album. I feel like I’ve said that for a lot of these songs. I really mean it with this one though. It’s fantastic. The rapping from Granddad is awesome too. This is actually one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. There’s not a single aspect of it that I don’t like. To me it sounds like the true ending to the album. The final track, Lisboa (Until Next Time), is like the bonus scene you get at the end of a movie after the credits finish rolling. Once again, the production is fantastic. The first verse from Woolly is great, and the hook is cool too. The second verse is performed in Portuguese if I’m not mistaken. It might be a different language, but I’m not completely sure. Well, he eventually switches back to English for the second verse. I actually think the Portuguese rapping might be part of the hook. I can’t really tell. Anyway, the most exciting part of the song is the final verse in which Woolly raps from the perspective of the monster, KanoDadda. Basically, he says the scientists who made him are some dumbass niggas who have no idea that he’s about to fuck shit up. He says that it’ll happen in “the sequel: The Wrath of KanoDadda,” so I guess that’s the title of the next project. Hopefully we won’t have to wait five more years for it. I mean, that’s fine if we do. I’m not really the type of person who gets impatient about releases. I’m a Jay Electronica fan, so that kinda thing doesn’t really get to me anymore lol. Anyway, I think it’s a really strong finish to the album, and I don’t really have any issues with it. It’s dope af. 😀
This album is really great. Honestly, this is legitimately one of the better albums I’ve heard this year. I don’t know if it’ll end up on my year end list, but I like it more than a lot of the most hyped up releases of the year, including Bandana and IGOR. I legitimately don’t have any consistent gripes with it. It’s one of those special albums where I have a difficult time choosing a favorite song. I think CHIKANO & Granddad Woolly are a perfect pair. Woolly fits like a glove over these beats. As I said in the body of this review, the time they spent working on this project is evident not only in the production quality, but the depth of Woolly’s writing. Again, this isn’t just some generic shit he scribbled in a couple hours. He’s telling full stories on this project, and doing it really well. Before I listened to this project, I didn’t take Woolly seriously as a rapper, but this completely changed the way I look at him. This shit is really dope. Don’t sleep on it.
Favorite Song: We Watchin’
Least Favorite Song: Run
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.