Album Review | K-Beta & DJ J-Scrilla – Bad Rap

This album was released on October 30th in 2020. If you follow this blog closely you probably know who K-Beta is by now. I’ve covered a bunch of extended plays by him, and I’ve praised every single one. The dude’s been rapping for decades, and we’ve actually become friends ever since I first became familiar with his work. I also think I might be like the only blog that consistently covers him, so I’m gonna go ahead and take credit for that. I’m sure there are a couple others though. Fuck it, that’s neither here nor there. I personally didn’t have as much experience with DJ J-Scrilla’s music before checking this album out, although I had heard some work he’d done with Heltah Skeltah & Smif-N-Wessun. Anyway, my hopes were pretty high for this album since it had some very intriguing features, and all the singles I’d heard ahead of time were fire. I also love the album cover. K-Beta was pretty much promoting it has his magnum opus, so I knew it was gonna be something special.


There aren’t any songs that I don’t like on this album, so I’ll write about the full project in the proper order of the track listing. It begins with an instrumental Intro, which I think is amazing. This is one of the hardest beats of 2020 in my opinion. The grimy percussion is super hard hitting. The beat sounds like getting your limbs cut off with a rusty saw in the form of music. I love it. The first real song on the album is entitled Sacrifice, and this is a major highlight for me. The content is kinda fucked up, but in a really interesting and original way. I’ve never heard another rapper write about something like this. He’s basically rapping about being a worthless piece of shit who kills himself as a sacrifice for the people he was harming in life. Yeah. Really dark stuff. It’s amazing though.

My blood splattered on my shirt
And I have no recollection, I woke up in the dirt
And it don't even hurt
So am I too numb or too dumb to be embarrassed?
I gravitate to gruesome environments
I'm used to the violence

The sad thing is that I know this comes from a real place. It’s not just some random bullshit story he came up with. He’s had a lot of struggles with addiction in the past, and I know he’s survived a few suicide attempts. It’s fucked up that he had to go through shit like that, but at the very least we got an amazing song out of it. It’s the little things in life you have to appreciate. The production here is fucking incredible by the way. When Kanye West was creating Graduation, he often talked about trying to reach a “stadium status” with his music, i.e. he wanted to make music that could be played at stadiums. That’s exactly what this shit sounds like. This song would go absolutely crazy at live shows. It just sounds gigantic. Each verse on this song is better than the last in my opinion.

Swear I'm ready to kick out the chair and let the rope
Squeeze and choke out my last shred of hope
Never coped well with injections, scared to visit
The demons of my past, so I live parasitically
And pitifully, critically cursed
I hate hearing people tell me that it could be worse

The closing verse in which he describes the aftermath of his suicide is really wild. It’s really tragic shit. It hits me every time. I’ve listened to this song a lot. Probably more than any other track on the album to be honest.

When I was alive I had so many chances
So many false starts, ill-advised advances
In the back of so many cop cars and ambulances
I was the family disgrace, I'm in the right place
My face missing from pictures
I'd be lying if I told you I didn't miss the way it felt to kiss
The woman who was the love of my life
But I failed miserably under the strife
Life of regret and remorse, so what'll never be
I had to sacrifice myself to set her free
So fuck it

Man… It’s really one of the saddest songs I heard in 2020. I think it’s amazing though. There’s not a single aspect of it that I don’t love. The writing is crazy and the production is incredible. It’s dope af. The following track is entitled Pakistan, and this one features a very nice Beanie Sigel sample for the hook.

The production here is really aggressive sounding too. It sounds a lot like something an Army of the Pharaohs member would spaz over. I can definitely hear Vinnie Paz over this beat. The first verse here is great.

Eyes blinking
Blinded by the flash, ears ringin'
Changing tides, it might have a nigga swingin'
From a motherfuckin' rope
I've run out of coping mechanisms
GOT DAMNIT I'M ALL OUTTA DOPE

I like the second verse even more though. I just love how aggressive the lyricism here is. I think K-Beta was able to match the energy of the production beautifully.

I create tension thick enough to stick a fork through
Spit pure, get more twisted than a corkscrew
Absorb truth physically, fascinate the mind
Unlatch lies, literally lacerate a liar's tongue
Right out of his mouth, pardon my numbness
Adverse to the weakness of words, God is tongueless

He spazzed out here. This is another major highlight for me. It’s dope af. Oh yeah, there’s one more verse. It’s also fire. I think I’ve driven that point home by now though. All of the verses are great. This track is followed by The Yesterdays, which I wrote about back when I used to do my Best Singles of the Week series.

K-Beta released two of the better extended plays that I’ve heard over the past 12 months, so I’m really looking forward to hearing his full length album, especially after listening to this first single. The production from DJ J-Scrilla is dope, but the main aspect of this song that really had me hooked was the theme and lyrical concept. He rapped about an elderly couple named Mr. & Mrs. Yesterday who are afraid of younger generations who are demanding change and social justice.

They hold onto fond thoughts of simpler times
When only black neighborhoods were riddled with crime
When white kids grew up safe and niggers knew their place
And everybody’s role was clearly defined
The young whites of today defect from the route
Young rebels with the gaul to reject and renounce
The old god who in turn are unable to discern
What their sons could be so unsettled about

One thing this song references is how my generation seems to be far more… Hmm… I don’t know how to say this… Basically, Gen Z seem more politically active and aware. I don’t know if that’s the right way to put it. It just seems like we’re less likely to tolerate bigotry and xenophobia. As much as I hate human beings, I’m proud of my generation for that. Don’t get it twisted though; there are a shit ton of absolute idiots who were born in the 90s. On the other hand, there are of course millennials, Gen X’ers, and even boomers who are more aware and active than some in my generation. I’m not really saying anything anyone else can’t tell you though. Anyway, both of the verses on this track are awesome. I haven’t really heard anyone else rap about generational divides in terms of political ideology like this, so it’s certainly original. The vocal sample is really awesome too; for lack of a better term, it sounds very angelic. I love it. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. It boasts features from Uptown XO & Conway the Machine among others, and is dropping under Man Bites Dog Records. It’s called Bad Rap, is entirely produced by DJ J-Scrilla, and is scheduled for release on August 7th, so be on the lookout for that. This shit is dope as hell.

The next track is entitled DTLR 3, and it’s another highlight for me.

It was pretty much the most exciting song in the track listing for me due to the features. Once again, I love how aggressive the production from J-Scrilla here is. He’s pretty great at making instrumentals that just sound really big. I love how hard hitting the percussion is here. The opening verse from K-Beta is great too.

Games & losses aimin' to be flawless
Y'all just clowns who claim to be bosses
The rawness, in fear you follow, crawling
I'm causing carnage, it's all so appalling
I'm all things kingly, king me
Confront me, you measly flunkies attempt to triple jump me
I'm greasy, hungry, undeniable
You crispy & crunchy 'cause son be fryin' you

The second verse is performed by Sketch McGuiney, who actually ended up having my favorite verse personally. I don’t think he completely stole the show or anything, but after multiple listens I just think he was the most memorable personally. That very first line where he says “Sketch motherfuckin’ McGuiney is off the Remy” always gets stuck in my head after I listen to the song.

White as Benny Blanco's cash minus the semi
Still reppin' Virgini', I kill reps in your city
I'm the definition of def & illy, no effin' with me

I think I misquoted the first line in that tercet, but fuck it. His verse was really goddamn great. If I remember correctly, him and K-Beta are a duo known as Black Irish, so maybe we’ll be hearing more from them in the future. I might be wrong though. I don’t fuckin’ know. Anyway, the closing verse is performed by Conway the Machine, and he did a very nice job. I wouldn’t say he stole the show like he usually does though. In fact, he might’ve actually had my least favorite verse. I don’t know. It’s not like he got smoked at all. I think they’re all pretty close in terms of quality. I think maybe my expectations were just super high, so when he didn’t absolutely decimate his verse it just registered as good but not great to me. He still did a very nice job though.

I know it's hurtin' you, don't take it personal, boy
I keep a razor in my jaw, boy, don't make me bury you
Chew you up, boy, don't make me service you
You just a fuckboy, don't make me send a young boy through there to murder you
Put you on your back, nigga
Wig shot make sure that it's a wrap, nigga
I ain't a Rap nigga, I'm a MAC shootin' crack dealer
Pussy, you better have your strap with you

Overall, I think the song is really dope. It’s followed by another single that I’d previously written about entitled Face the Serpent.

I believe this is the third single from the upcoming collaborative album from K-Beta & DJ J-Scrilla, which is slated to drop on October 30th. I unfortunately missed the second single, Beta Blockers, when it dropped, but I can confirm that that shit is fire. Anyway, this is actually my favorite single so far. First of all, the content really had me hooked. Usually when I watch a reality TV show about someone’s struggles with addiction I can’t look because it makes me too uncomfortable, but I absolutely love when artists make music about it. It’s easier for me to hear about it than to actually see it. Especially if they’re talking about heroin. I can’t watch someone put a needle in their wrist. That shit makes my skin crawl. Songs about that kinda shit always have me hooked though.

I was selfish, pretended I was helpless, stumblin' drunk
No surprise I fell in a ditch
Sellin' wolf tickets for no money back and I'm
Now surrounded by a whole hungry pack of 'em
Used to be a apex predator, my vision was all range
Then I hit that rock, my position on the chain
Became that of a scavenger, not a leader
But a bottom-feeder schemin' and chasin' after the habit
Look at me now, put me down, it's so easy
With my teeth so rotten & my skin so greasy
My will to live killed and flipped over
Belly up; in the river of regret, I'm a floater

The way he had that animal kingdom scheme going throughout the whole song was really dope. Also, DJ J-Scrilla’s production on this track is actually insane. Particularly during the break between the two verses. Everyone involved in this track did a fantastic job, and this is easily one of my favorite tracks of the week. Don’t sleep on this one. It’s dope af.

Track 7 is another Black Irish song entitled Waterboard. This is a major highlight for me. I love the relatively fast paced, high energy production. It’s one of my favorite beats on the album. One thing I really appreciate about K-Beta is his delivery. He knows how to match the energy of whichever beat he’s rhyming over. Someone like Roc Marciano would sound totally drowned out by a beat like this. K-Beta is totally in his element here though. The hook from Sketch McGuiney is nice, and K-Beta killed both of the verses here.

"Get a grip," they tell me, they can literally smell me
Live a lifestyle more than a little unhealthy
I'm a night child, we was pretending to be brothers
Our parents was tired, we supervised each other
Apparently I was too high to see another
Way out, I would devise a scheme of a
Way to get-get up, get-get up & stay up
Until eventually the way out became a way up

Both of K-Beta’s verses here are great, and Sketch did his thing on the hook. The production is also top notch. Again, this is a major highlight on this album for me. I think it’s dope af. It’s followed by another highlight entitled Raw Like. This one has arguably the hardest, darkest beat on the whole album. It sounds like boiling heroin in the form of music. The opening verse from K-Beta is fire.

I navigate through the cracks like a sewer rat
Matted fur, burnt tail, sleepin' on the third rail
A mega blast hook wires in the heart of man
Already half cooked, fire in a garbage can
Dyin' is part of the plan, but one critical
Fact could be that I'm practically unkillable

The second verse is performed by Kingpen Slim, and he actually ended up having my favorite featured verse on the whole album to be honest. That dude just sounds so hard on this track.

When I take a shit, dick drip in toilet water
Need a higher toilet

I literally looked exactly like that image when I first heard that line. That shit caught me off guard. When it’s separated from the rest of the verse it looks silly, but the verse itself is hard as fuck as a whole. I love how raspy his voice sounds.

When it comes to coca cola I'm the ayatollah
Ever since the Motorolas got that fire for you
Truth hurts & lies kill, I plead the fifth
Gotta smell the roses, know they like being sniffed
I can get you higher, homie, if you need a lift
You can fall off for forgetting we the cliff
If knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss
Then I'm happy knowin' no one else is ignorant as this

That shit is hard as fuck. He killed it. I think the song is dope as hell overall. It is a little short, but I don’t even care. It’s followed by Don’t Be a Dummy, which is another highlight for me. This one has another one of my favorite beats. I think I like it even more than that of Waterboard to be honest. It reminds me of the Underworld theme music from Kingdom Hearts II. K-Beta floated over this beat beautifully too.

I'm out on the prowl like a big fat owl
With a couple other hunters who be livin' that foul
Night time predators prey upon the rats
Dogs in the darkness stay up in the cats

The hook on this track is also pretty good. I feel like I didn’t really say much about this track, but that’s because it’s got a very straightforward structure. The production and rapping are great. It’s dope as hell. Track 10 is called On the Reels. I really love the beat here. The opening verse is performed by Uptown XO of Diamond District, and he killed it. I think he probably had my second favorite verse as far as features on this album go. He went off.

It ain't nothin' for me to smack a dude
Change your face, your perspective, your whole attitude
Amazing grace
Keepin' it real, I have to do it, ain't my face

That line about bullets crip-walking on a dude was crazy. I feel like XO objectively had the best feature on the album, but he didn’t make me laugh like Kingpen Slim did, so that’s how I decided who was my favorite. Anyway, I’m not totally in love with the hook on this song, but it serves its purpose well enough. I’m just kind of indifferent towards it. The second verse from K-Beta is really nice. I love how aggressive the last few lines are.

I'm not the one for that ho shit
Go get whoever the fuck you want, we suck no dick
You can front if you want for all those pricks
But you ain't frontin' for us, we all know, bitch
It's all show tricks, no killer gorillas
Givin' you a flat visual, no filters

It’s a dope song. The following track is a single called Beta Blockers.

I didn’t cover this single when it originally dropped because it kinda slipped by me. It’s dope though. The production doesn’t really stand out as much to me as most of the other beats, and the verses aren’t particularly amazing compared to the others on this album, but they’re definitely about as good as I would expect. I can’t say I was disappointed at all. My favorite aspect of this song is definitely the hook though. I don’t know why, but it just gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. I think the song is really dope overall. The penultimate track is entitled Dice Roll. This is another highlight for me. I love the beat here. The percussion here has this really powerful rhythm to it that sounds like the heartbeat of the whole song. I think this song has some of the most interesting content on the album too. He’s kinda going in about the risks people take to commit crimes.

Speaking of unforgivable offenses
Sex offender with a 6 month sentence
Drug dealer dizzy, the judge peeled his wig back
Fifteen years, 85 percent of that
Justice is a dirty game for the bottom shelf
Citizen in Virginia, shame on the commonwealth
At least he got his health, he can live with that
Gave everything else away, can't get it back

This track has a really nice hook too. The second verse is even better than the first one in my opinion. He fucking slaughtered that shit.

The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward
Until it's a risk a nigga can't afford
A righteous man's patience, a crooked man chasing
A permanent place in the book of damnation
Took a chance faced with affliction arisen
It's a given, perception is unlimited division

Ok I think I misquoted a few of those lines, but fuck it. It is what it is. I did my best. It’s still clear that he killed the verse even if those lyrics aren’t completely accurate. There’s a guest verse from Napoleon da Legend on this track, and he fucking murdered it. He’s actually probably the best guest feature. I don’t know. I guess it’s a good thing that I keep changing my answer for who had the best feature. I think Napoleon’s voice sounds really great over this beat. This is the kinda beat that Roc Marciano would actually sound good over. Anyway, this song is a major highlight for me. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album. It’s dope af. The closing track is entitled No Prophecy. This is the most melodic song on the album. I think the instrumental here is really pretty, and the sung hook from Eileen Torrez is fantastic. K-Beta’s flow is nice as hell, and I think this song has some of the most poetic lyricism on the whole project. There’s really not a single aspect of the song that I don’t love. It’s a gorgeous track. I think it’s dope af.


This album is amazing. I think this is easily the best work I’ve heard from K-Beta. There’s not a single track here that isn’t dope. I don’t know who I’m more impressed by between him and DJ J-Scrilla. The production here fits K-Beta’s style perfectly. I know K-Beta’s starting to produce his own music, but I hope these guys continue to work together in the future because they have great chemistry. I really don’t have any consistent gripes with this album. I think it’s a great length, the production is phenomenal, all the verses are dope, there’s not a single wack feature, and even the hooks are good. This shit is dope af. Don’t sleep on this album.

Favorite Song: No Prophecy
Least Favorite Song: Beta Blockers

92

Grade: A

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