Kia Shine Due Season [review]

I guess I can't be mad; on Due Season's intro, Memphis' "Kinfolk" Kia Shine asks if he should talk about his grind or his clothes... ultimately deciding to talk about both, which he does throughout the entire major label debut of his. I have no problem with either, shit, do what makes you paper (and in listening to the 2nd verse of "Pre Season", it sounds like dude had a serious bubble on the underground). It's just that, you'd think an artist would truly try and expand, maybe break up his topics or bring some different angles into the game. 2007, however, is all about "swag"...

You've heard his big single, "Krispy", all over, with it's "Paul Revere"-hat tip. The sounds on this track introduce the majority of the production on the album (handled by his Rap Hustlaz crew, save for 3 or 4 of the cuts): 808 drum sounds, trunk-rattlin' bass and little else. I guess when all you make is "Swag Music", you don't really need to diversify your sample banks. The next single, "W.O.W.", follows this one, and is pretty much a rehash of what he's said in tracks 1 and 2: Rap is my grind, and you have to respect my shine. I didn't know dudes got so infatuated with, well, themselves. Dipset's Jim Jones steps up to go back and forth with Kinfolk, letting you know that, yes, they "can't take a day off" if they "want the pay off" - BALLIN'! I'm sorry, but *yawn*. Elsewhere on the album, Kia does try to switch it up: he drops a track entitled "She's Serious", which features Wifey (his wife), but he still ends up talking about what jeans are on her ass, what shoes are on her feet, and how she ain't gonna deal with you if your bank account ain't right. Haven't we been down this road? "Holla At Ya Kin Folk" is a nice diversion, though, where he actually breaks down how down his lady is - she stood by him through the thick and thin, she even had to wear the same clothes and shoes (!) while he pursued his dream. Nice touch, but coming at the home stretch, it's a bit late.

This disc isn't all bad, though. For those who just want a CD to stunt to in their candy-colored whips, this disc doesn't miss. The production is a constant throughout the LP, with woofer-battering bass and hi-hat laced beats ready to give your system a real test. "Bluff City Classic" ganks a fabulous Teddy Pendergrass sample (which will sound familiar to 8Ball & MJG fans, who also guest on the cut) and turns it into pure pimpin', pimpin'. "Tech Game" is an exploration into how you can make serious gwap in Rap using MySpace, e-mail and the ringtone grind - dude is a business, man! "Touch" sounds like a recipe for date rape, but should be a strip club masterpiece. And, even though he almost begs you to hate it, you have to respect dude's grind. He is uncompromising, hustle-oriented, and his personality is very engaging. If only his subject matter was as interesting.

For those of you who just want music to stunt to, grab this album, early. In my opinion, it's one of those CDs you pop on to go to the club in, but won't get much burn come December. For all of his grind, Kia is too much swag, not enough substance for a consumer like myself. We don't need a tracklisting that has the following titles in succession: "Swag Music" followed by "Respect My Fresh", or "Stunna Frames" right in front of "Face Card", especially when your skills on the mic aren't as fresh or exclusive as the BAPEs on your feet. Maybe he just needs to hire a good ghostwriter, they can make his rhymes look as "krispy" as his Evisu jeans.


rock the dub gives Kia Shine's Due Season a 2.6 out of 5. For what it is, it's a decent effort. For what it lacks, it's a damn shame - you get the feeling dude is holding a lot back to stay fresh. Hopefully he will get a sophmore album to get deeper into his real life, outside of the facade.

Burn These: "Krispy", "Bluff City Classic", "Tech Game"

For more about Kia Shine, hit the links:
Kia Shine on MySpace
Due Season on Artist Direct
R U Krispy??

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