This February saw possibly the best that KJ-52 has to offer, with his latest album, Behind The Musik. KJ basically took all the aspects of his life and put them to music, and included excerpts from interviews he himself had with his mom and dad. Putting his entire life and reputation on the line, he released the album to his fans, and it was embraced fully. Could this 23-track masterpiece get any better? Well it has, with KJ re-releasing the album with a bonus disc, including five new songs, two of which were originally left off of the album due to time restraints. The album also comes with a new slip case that has additional new artwork.
First I will say that I will not be reviewing the entire album, only the extra disc. For a full review of this album, check out Josh Taylor's review of the February, 2005 release here.
The disc kicks off with a nod to one of my, and apparently KJ-52's, favorite movies, Napoleon Dynamite, named after the movie. Using lines from the movie incorporated into the light guitar rap, it makes for quite a funny song. Throughout the track, KJ is in the background of the music yelling lines from the movie also, which makes it even funnier.
The second song, "Washed Up" is his response to being on VH1's segment they had on back in April, "40 Least Hip-Hop Moments." KJ-52, with his controversial "Dear Slim" song came in at #26. This song is in retaliation to that whole fiasco, along with a message to MTV, regarding the time two years ago when they played part of his video for "Dear Slim" on Total Request Live, wrongly stating that he did it just to get famous and diss Eminem. KJ uses his quick and clever raps to set the record straight, and does it well, with a beat that few can mess with.
"Run For Cover" is the only collaboration on the bonus disc, featuring Thousand Foot Krutch frontman Trevor McNevan. The song marks the return of Trevor actually rapping, and he does a very excellent job of keeping his signature TFK sound in with rock/rap hybrid. KJ lets loose on a lyrical rampage as well, giving pop stars and trends all air play, including Mandy Moore, Starbucks, Donald Trump, eBay, and even a shout out to George Bush.
The other two tracks on the audio part of the bonus disc are the short songs/skits that KJ-52 is known for on all of his albums. It just so happened that due to time restraints, these songs did not make the final cut of the original release. "Plain White Rapper In A Mini Van" follows in the same vein of "Mullet Prid," from KJ's sophomore album, Collaborations, where he does a hilarious acoustic guitar song about the awesomeness of his mini van, which recently kicked the bucket after 250,000 miles of touring. "Piece of Junk Car" closely resembles to "Gimme Dat" from It's Pronounced Five-Two, but this time around, he talks about all of the cars he's owned and how everything went wrong for him with each vehicle. Overall, Overall, the audio portion of the disc is very enjoyable, and with the addition of the two skits, it makes Behind The Musik feel more like a signature KJ-52 album.
The DVD portion of the bonus disc includes all four of KJ's music videos, and also five short behind the scenes clips of the recording process for the album. The disc also includes a video of making the music video for "Life After Death." The music videos are good, for the most part, if not a little grainy, but it depends mostly on how good your computer's graphics card is. The only problem with all ten videos is that you cannot maximize the video to full screen. It only shows each video in a small screen surrounded by the menu for the DVD... but now I'm being picky. The other six videos basically document all of KJ's recording of the Behind The Musik album. They also include him giving a tour of his childhood town, Ybor City.
The Deluxe Edition of KJ-52's Behind The Musik may be one of the most generous of the recent string of re-releases from artists. There is some really funny stuff on here that only die-hard KJ-52 fans will appreciate, so I must insist that if you are a such a fan, to get this special edition, and give the original to a friend. If you haven't picked up the original yet, go for the deluxe edition, because even if you don't like the bonus material on the DVD, you'll still love the extra songs.- Review date: 12/9/05, written by Justin Mabee
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