Kottonmouth Kings: Cloud Nine

[11 November 2007]

By Quentin B. Huff

Hip-hop’s “West Coast Stoner Clique” is back again with another set of bouncy, low ridin’ left coast tributes to bongs and boogie. The album title, Cloud Nine, should be an indication that nothing’s changed with the Kottonmouth Kings. Life, for them, ain’t been no crystal stair, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to navigate if you’ve got somethin’ to smoke and somethin’ to dance to.

While the crew puffs out the Mary Jane jams (“Controlled Substance”, “Marijuana”, “Pass It Around”, “Time to Get High’”, “Proud To Be a Stoner”), there are, fortunately, a few tracks with different agendas. After all, if you really want the most bang for your hip-hop blunt, you can always go to Redman, The Chronic, or Cypress “Hits from the Bong” Hill. Maybe that’s why the Kings included a Cypress Hill collaboration (“Ridin’ High”). Otherwise, you’ll find freaky stories from the Kottonmouth Kings’ tour bus (“City 2 City”) and sex rhymes (“Don’t Make Me Beg”), which are, you know, rather par for the course.

The tunes that resonate, lyrically, are: (1) “Think 4 Yourself”, a stern warning against becoming conditioned by media imagery and all-around lemming behavior, and (2) “One Day”, a wistful rock-influenced reflection on the beautiful but fragile state of the human condition. Longtime fans will also appreciate the rock ‘n’ roll vibe here, one of our finer examples of “rock rap” and certainly true to the Kottonmouth Kings’ ethos.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/kottonmouth-kings-cloud-nine/