Review Summary: More of what you’d expect from Calhoun, except more concentrated.
After two preceding albums that both ran for over 70 minutes, Kansas City rapper Kutt Calhoun has trimmed the length down this time around on Black Gold
to a more reasonable and condensed 60 minutes. While his past albums had more than enough songs on them, Calhoun’s recurring issue has always been that his tracks can sound far too similar. Black Gold
manages to extinguish this issue by concentrating on fewer songs that are memorable, as opposed to an abundance of songs that are nearly identical.
The hooks are given a lot more care and attention than they have been on his past albums. Calhoun has had a habit of outdoing a song’s chorus in his verses to such a point that the choruses became nothing more than inferior annoyances, but on Black Gold
, instances such as the infectious sung chorus of “Self Preservation” truly stick instantaneously, and the slight tweaks made to “See What Had Happened Was” keeps listeners attention as the song progresses.
The beats on Black Gold
aren’t really much in the way of anything new. They cover the familiar areas of southern hip hop, underground, and even some g-funk here and there, but with Strange Music producer Seven being the only one at the reins of the production other than Monsta Muzik, the music here is much more focused and doesn’t suffer from too many cooks in the kitchen like his previous album Raw and Un-Kutt
Vocally, Calhoun is more solid and forceful in his delivery than he’s ever been. His flow has slick grooves, and he retains a confident cool in his character while remaining urgent and grabbing; never getting too aggressive, but just hostile enough to make his words have a sting and give a growl to his beats.
Calhoun is still the most tame artist on Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label, and even though featuring the most erratic artists signed to the label on Black Gold
can lead to him being outshined on his own album in terms of energy and personality (especially by Tech N9ne himself on "I Been Dope"), Calhoun has made a strong hook-oriented hip hop album that has the appropriate amount of bangers and cruisers.