Published Jul 31, 2019Menace II Sobriety is not very good. However, KXNG Crooked's initial lyrical content is surprisingly endearing — the opening track is a true summary of Crook's history of alcohol abuse over a West coast style instrumental. Crook illustrates the excuses and conversations an addict has with themselves when coming to terms with their affliction. Melodically, even though it's the kind of song you'd assume came out in the mid-2000s, it's decent enough to make you bob your head and take it in, at least once.
Unfortunately, the first track is where this EP's interesting moments begin and end. Following the raw look underneath KXNG's hard exterior comes "Fkfame," featuring an abysmal interpolation and sample of Luniz's "I Got 5 On It." Simply butchering the original, a song about renouncing fame, is ironic because Crook hasn't achieved a high level of fame outside of Slaughterhouse's brief stint in the spotlight with 2012's Welcome to: Our House.
The next track speaks from the point of view of a bandana owned by a crip, exploring the cliché life of a gang member. It isn't terrible per se, but it doesn't do nearly enough musically to compensate for the stilted "Fkfame" before it, nor the dreadful "Flowers" after it.
Crook closes out the EP with a yikes-worthy sample of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise"; simply put, it's been done better before. Menace II Sobriety could have been halfway decent if it weren't for tasteless samples and tired song structures, instead it's a precarious, forgettable outing. (Hitmaker Services / New Wave Distro)