Brooklyn's New Kingdom are gangstas of a different sort. Sure,
they do their share of boasting and bragging on their sophomore album,
Paradise Don't Come Cheap (Gee Street), but it's not the hallucinogenic,
tracheotomy vocals of rapper Nosaj (Jason Furlow) that threaten to bust you up.
It's the eve of destruction, sludge nation mudslide of noise whipped up by DJ
Sebastian Laws that's the real threat to your equilibrium, and your dome.
Like an Onyx single played at 33 1/3 or Ol' Dirty Bastard if he was
really fucked up and groggy, New Kingdom make rap rock hard as hell by
mixing acid noise with funky, pea soup-thick beats and detective show horns in
an attack that's slow, so you can see it coming, but so thudding, ominous and
powerful you can't outrun it, just like you can't outrun the Blob. Nosaj sounds
like he gargles with broken glass and sandpaper, and when he asks, "Have you
ever been suspended...in air?/ Well I have in my favorite chair," on the
Hendrix-inspired "Have You Ever Been Experienced" riff, "Suspended in Air,"
you'll feel like you have, and wonder how the hell you're gonna get down.
Cleverly interpolating the riff and backwards grooviness from Hendrix's tune,
the duo tear the original to the ground and re-build it on a shaky foundation
of snarled lyrics, trippy visions and 99% humidity heaviness. Their dense,
mix-and-match musical style folds in druggy loops, barely-discernible sitcom
samples, rock guitars and gumbo-thick bass lines for a blunted style that's
harder and heavier than a whole fleet of white Cadillacs full of gat-totin'
gangstas. -- Gil Kaufman