KRS-One and Buckshot were wise to follow the same formula, perhaps injecting a boost of attention that otherwise would not have been afforded to a solo release by each MC. The title track is the leadoff hitter, and wastes no time establishing just how good the combination of these two lyrical legends can be. KRS' opening line sends a warning shot across the bow of the current hitmakers: "Small-time rappers ain't as dope as us / When you hear rappers in the club, you hope it's us." Just as refreshing is the turntable work on the hook courtesy of DJ Revolution.
KRS and Buck keep one foot on the neck of the copycats with their own personal attack on auto-tune, transforming into a "Robot" to take down those who "can't sing or rap these days" without covering their weak skills with a vocoder, all while still paying tribute to Roger Troutman, Afrika Bambaataa and others.
A parade of standout guests add to the party at that point, from the predictable (Mary J. Blige) and the welcome (Talib Kweli, backed by more scratching) to the longtime collaborators (Heltah Skeltah and Smif N Wessun).
However, when Pharoahe Monch walks out the door after "One Shot," it feels like a lot of the energy goes with him as the album fades a bit toward the end. Or maybe it just seems that way. No matter, the album is worth a look if only for the all-star collabo. In the end, the superheroes usually win. Click here to find out how to buy this album.
-- Mason Storm