Houston Music

K-Rino: The Blood Doctrine

We say this without irony, sarcasm, hyperbole or qualifier: K-Rino is a genius — but not a rapper who happens to be a genius, a genius who happens to be a rapper. Accordingly, in and of themselves his songs are not extraordinary; most often, they offer thick production, minimal catchiness and will never receive significant radio play. But one does not listen to a K-Rino song for snazzy snare/cymbal/808 combinations — he's no Yeezy. One listens to K-Rino to listen. He's a verbose archfiend, twisting and knotting bars together with polemic ferocity, birthing some of the genre's most intelligent and primeval wordplays. And The Blood Doctrine, K-Rino's fourth album released in 2008, follows the complicated lyrical arc of his career. On "The Debate," he argues with himself over the origin of man, concurrently playing the part of Evolutionist, Creationist and Theologian. On "Past, Present, Future," he's visited by former and future versions of himself, crushing the idea of fated life within the grip of his rhyming reason. "Dominatin' The Game," meanwhile, cleverly parallels various meanings of the title's clichéd catchall term. Blood Doctrine is a winner for those willing to invest the effort it takes to actually listen to it. And for those who aren't, we wholeheartedly suggest purchasing the new Total Club Hits 2, the hottest party mix ev-ar!!!

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Shea Serrano