Review Summary: With no promotion at all, the platinum status of Kizz My Black Azz is a testament to the standards rap was held to during the early 90’s.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
In the world of today, teenage phenoms are judged by their short-term readiness rather than their long-term capabilities. At age fourteen, Freddy Adu was proclaimed as the kid that would save soccer in the United States. Now, at age 20, he’s a journeyman who’s considered to be one of the biggest draft busts ever. At age seventeen, Lorenzo Patterson was inducted into Compton-based gangsta rap group NWA. Five years, a gold album, and three platinum albums later with NWA, Lorenzo Patterson had not yet fizzled out. It was 1992, and MC Ren was in the midst of his debut solo EP going platinum, still succeeding despite the demise of NWA. Kizz My Black Azz
is a perfect example of worthwhile capitalization on blue-chip talent.
Very unlike the album that would be released five and a half months later by former cohort Dr. Dre, Kizz My Black Azz
doesn’t display sludgy, heavily funk-influenced production. Other than the subtle, funky bass guitar samples that appear on every song, the production on Kizz My Black Azz
is quite uptempo. Always having gravitated to the conditioning paces that Eazy-E and Ice Cube pushed, despite having a voice that is essentially a deeper version of Dr. Dre, MC Ren suits himself to brisk percussion to accompany the intense strings and dark piano samples (“Behind The Scenes,” “Final Frontier” “Right Up My Alley,”) laidback guitars (“Hounddogz”) and old school sampling (“Kizz My Black Azz”) found on the EP.
But what probably spurred the unexpected success of Kizz My Black Azz
was the fact that NWA fans were simply trying to observe what level of retentiveness to subject content Ren exhibited. With his “villainous” resolve, Ren raps about everything offensive, vulgar, and anti-establishmentarian. Poignant, disgusting imagery on the incest narrative of “Behind The Scenes,” stories of alleyway murders on “Right Up My Alley” and searing intolerance of people who use him because of his star status on “Hounddogz” confirmed that it was the same old Ren.
But this album only has so much upside, Ren is only so lyrically satiating, and the album’s intro track is rather useless and repetitive. Furthermore, the recording quality is a step under what his contemporaries possessed, being slightly lo-fi, even for its time. While it failed to achieve the multi-platinum success and classic status of “The Chronic
,” Kizz My Black Azz
served as the proof that MC Ren was highly undervalued during his tenure with NWA.