K-Beta – Inglorious Beta (2011)
Album: Inglorious Beta
Source: I’ve Been Knowing!
2. Black Business (produced by Overok)
3. Surrender featuring Sketch (produced by Grussle)
4. That Black Man (produced by Soulful!)
5. Suicide featuring Sketch (produced by J-Scrilla)
6. Come Closer featuring Mina (produced by Grussle)
7. Another Day 2 featuring Illa Ghee (produced by J-Scrilla)
8. Soul Cry featuring B. Sheba (produced by Grussle)
9. DTLR (Down the Line Rhymes) featuring Diamond District (produced by Kev Brown)
10.0Burn Through the Journal (produced by J-Scrilla)
11. I’m Bleeding (produced by Team Demolition)
12. With the Family (produced by Kevlar)
13. Infinite Possibilities featuring Mina (produced by Judah)
14. Smoke With Me featuring Laelo Hood (produced by J-Scrilla)
15. Life of Crhyme (produced by J-Scrilla)
16. Outchea (produced by Kokayi)
17. I Do It (Bonus)
18. We On (ft. Tabi Bonney) (Bonus)
19. Live From The…(Bonus)
20. Niggas Be Cryin’ (Bonus)
Note:The clean/edited version of Inglorious Beta dropped last year, minus the bonus cuts that you see on this current version. It was worth reviewing back then but it didn’t feel complete with the censorship. Now on, April 26th 2011, K-Beta unleashes the project as it was originally intended to be listened to, four letter words and all. I put the date in the post so you can write it down. It is the day somebody released a rare, classic album. I feel like once a year you will see an album that embodies the word “classic”. Last year it was The Left for their product, Gas Mask. Now, K-Beta’s Inglorious Beta needs to be mentioned in the same category.
The lead single for the album, Come Closer is very indicative of caliber of music you get from Inglorious Beta. On this track he discusses a relationship on the brink of destruction. I am really not enthralled with tracks like this typically but everything worked so perfect on this joint. It’s got an uptempo beat with some synth leading the way. K-Beta paints a picture of a relationship on the rocks so very eloquently. If ever a rhyme could wax poetic, this would be the one. Also, Mina, really owns the hook. Sometimes a soulful hook seems misplaced, but not in this case. It fits perfectly and she is a main contributor to the track’s success.
The same combo is used on Infinite Possibilities. This time Mina leads with vocals and K-Beta follows with verses that discuss the virtues of being in a positive relationship. So in that sense, this track is the antithesis of the aforementioned, Come Closer. Again, I can’t overstate this: I usually don’t like tracks of this subject matter but there is something about this Mina/K-beta combo that makes it different. Mina has that sultry and soulful voice while K-Beta laces his words ever so carefully to build his reputation as an exceptional lyricist.
But K-Beta’s album is not just discussing the pros and cons of relationships. This guy can deliver bars on a multitude of subjects with a high level of energy. Probably the most impressive display of lyricism and talent is the autobiographical Life Of Chryme. This joint is nothing less than amazing. K-Beta flows non-stop for over seven minutes relaying nothing but his failings and successes and all of his thoughts in between. There are no catchy hooks here. There is not an overabundance of metaphors and similes. It’s a man’s story set to a beat sitting in front of a microphone. And when someone turns the phrase, “He goes in on this one!”, this is what they are referring to. This is just a very small sampling:
Why was I given a second chance? / In step with the rhythm of the second hand / In depth, I’m going to give it to them real raw / Half way into year four / A new beginning I can remember being uncertain / finding myself truly free for the first time / It felt newly / Introduced to me / Life as it was meant to be lived…
There are so many banging tracks off of this album. The production is stellar at all points. From the more soulful joints (ie Come Closer, Infinite Possibilities) to the more boom bap ( ie.Another Day 2 Smoke With Me) everything sounds as dope as it possibly could. My favorite production from the album undoubtedly comes from J-Scrilla. That man has a knack for making dope, head-nodding beats. The original version had sixteen tracks in total, but with this bonus version you get four more tracks. And one would think that there would be at least some drop off in quality when adding four more new joints to the picture but that is simply not the case. All four of those songs enhance the album and do not detract in the least.
Inglorious Beta needs to be heard by all. It is the type of record that will move you. By the time I finished listening to the album I thought I had born witness not only to the evolution of an artist, but to the revolution of the mind. When you hear how personal he gets on joints, and you can feel where those words are coming from, I say that’s something special. What makes a classic album? It is in part when an artist can connect on a meaningful level with the listener and K-Beta definitely does that on this album. For all the ill lyricists out there, this is how you make an album…with your heart.