Stevie Krizzo Goes Solo and Gets Serious
The offbeat local duo The Unstoppable Nuklehidz, who were ubiquitous at Baltimore rap shows a few years ago, have gone quiet more recently. But the less animated half of the group, Stevie Krizzo, has recently resurfaced as a solo artist, and has a lot to say on his first album. It’s not always clear what it is he’s saying, though: the intro track to Rebel Yell is an audio montage of news reports on a series of unfortunate events, including the earthquake in Japan, skyrocketing gas prices, the racist Michael Richards outburst, and the deaths of celebrities including 2Pac and Whitney Houston. But no explanation ever arises to tie these disparate stories together, although the first song, “Sick Of It” featuring Femi The DriFish, follows appropriately with all the apocalyptic bluster of a ’90s Busta Rhymes album.
Krizzo stays on message throughout Rebel Yell, proclaiming on the predictably Billy Idol-sampling title track, “Stuck me in the category of silly MC/ Then they heard me spazz out and smash and kill every beat.” He hasn’t completely forsaken comedy; “I’m A Dick” and the preceding skit, “The Assholes’ Confession,” are exactly as goofy as you’d expect. But the album is at its best when Krizzo can keep a straight face for a few minutes and write with some degree of detail, particularly on “Emancipation,” where producer Ms. Tris Beats takes another obvious sample, Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and chops it up into something fresh and not immediately recognizable.