Rob Gullatte (formerly known as Kritikal, Beltway Krit and more) is the most interesting rapper with a name change this side of 2 Chainz. Okay, that's plenty of loaded hyperbole, but the fact remains Gullatte is as obscure a talent as the term can be presently defined.
SPIN ran a profile on him, his name appears in national rap blogs when his work proves worthy and yet he doesn't remain a constant fixture on the local circuit.
He believes it's politics, I believe it's something far more subsidized. He's one of a few sociopolitical street rappers in Houston, cut from the vein of Scarface and to a lesser extent, Willie D. Gullatte, at any given notice, may tell you why health care in this country is a necessity all the while wrapping it around a story about dumping off a one-night stand just because he felt like it.
On his most recent project Abortion: The Project, Gullatte lets most of his blues be drained over a swatch of guitars, horns and drums. It's probably the best color palate you can give someone who arms himself with so much animosity towards relationships that his most levelheaded moment comes when he lets his son Lil Robo welcome us all to his new project. Want to figure out how complex Gullatte is? He's probably the only rapper who gives praises to Rashard Lewis' basketball skills.
Let that sink in really quick.
"Ra Lew" gets press on "Make It Take It." Rashard Lewis. The same Alief product who should be teaching a course in stealing money from the NBA. Gullatte didn't even try to go for the obvious there, but it shows how loyal he is to any and everything from his side of Southwest Houston (this is explained heavily on "My Side Of Town.")
"Generation X," his pseudo-anthem for anybody who was born during the Reagan era typifies the entire project in four minutes, behind rolling snares and hyper-menacing synths. It wails, it shakes, it rides on with the same sort of rolling punches you'd expect from someone who obviously raps without anything to lose and everything to gain. It's not the project's best showing, but it's the staple which holds it all together.
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"Like Rondo, I just need a shot..." he exclaims on the funky Johnny Juliano-produced "Screen Door" still talking his underdog rhetoric as often as possible. This gets expressed further earlier on with the tape's lead track "So Compelled," but there are little moments throughout the tape you can easily say, "Yup, I'd probably fight next to that guy."
Gullatte's emotions, especially his take on "bootleg hoes," "new freaks" all while ducking around empty Garcia Vega packages makes Abortion feel more like a conversational journey and less like a musical offering.
Funny enough, his most fluent record, you know -- the one that translates easiest to those wanting a definitive Gullatte track -- is "Trill Hip-Hop," a jazzy drum & kick record where he effortlessly sits on the stoop and tells you about him struggling, then out of the corner of his eye snatches up a youth and explains rights and wrongs is the bonus cut.
Small chops of this rhetoric are layered within Abortion: The Project, giving Gullatte one of those chips on a shoulder that you don't give to someone of his character.
Because they will definitely run with it.
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Now if we can only make sure Lil Robo somehow sums up his daddy's masterwork.
Download Rob Gullatte's "Abortion: The Project" here.