Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Til Erybody Know My Name

The third Christmas mixtape is from DC newcomer Chris Barz. And like fellow DMV representer Wale, Chris has the backing of the amazing Best Kept Secret production team. And neither Chris nor BKS disappoint.

The final track on this project is "When the Stars Come Out", which is a song that I hailed as an instant classic on my very first listen. And the subsequent spins haven't changed that one bit. I even got to catch up with his impressive EP entitled Do You Know Him?. All that was left after that was to wait for his proper release with some assistance from singer Jesse Boykins III (a frequent Mickey Factz collaborator) and Tabi Bonney (he of "Put It in the Pocket" fame).

Chris Barz -
Class[Sickz] Out the Dark

With a free-associating rhyming style and gravelly voice, Chris Barz will inevitably draw comparisons to Lil' Wayne upon first listen. That's neither to his betterment nor detriment, though. He easily distinguishes himself through his vast diversity in attacking the lush instrumentation of his BKS beats. Whether it's the ATCQ-influenced "House Party", the self-doubting and guidance-seeking poetic interlude of "Letter to God", the story-rapping about an inter-career relationship spanning between "Dreamers" and "Dreamers Part II", or the uplifting head-knodder of "Fall (Keep Movin')", Chris keeps you on your feet from track-to-track. He has the natural blend of lighter braggadocio lines mixed amongst the topical tracks that go deeper and can delve linguistically more complex into organic poetry-type rapping. You can't judge this project from any single song itself as it prospectively broadens with each new track. Here's hoping for his continued success with this and all future projects as he keeps spitting dopeness. And maybe even if he possibly jumps on the "Hold On (Remix)". Ha.

And on a final note, I cannot stress to you how greatly this album is produced. Chris made a perfect choice is going over mostly all Best Kept Secret joints. Between this project and helming Wale's The Mixtape About Nothing, I don't know how they haven't taken over more of the rap game. Certain producers can create an epicness about them, and BKS definitely does this.

1. Hustle Music
2. Mr. Barz, Mr. Barz
3. Wherever We Go (feat. Jesse Boykins III)
4. What's the Definition of a Class[Sickz]?
5. School Ain't Workin' (No Money)
6. Dreamers (feat. Jesse Boykins III)
7. Dreamers Part II - Somethin' Stupid
8. Interlude - Letter to God
9. You Cool
10. House Party
11. OK Baby
12. Til Erybody Know
13. On the Radio (She Crazy feat. Tabi Bonney)
14. Fall (Keep Movin')
15. When the Stars Come Out

... but do take my word for it.


  1. i mess with this. need to check out all his stuff.

  2. The album is gold:true hip-hop music! not that pop stuff they play on the radio. This is what you want to hear when you get in the car and turn to WKYS or WPGC.


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