C.R.A.C.- “The Piece Talks” Tres Records 2008

The story of C.R.A.C. Knuckles is reminiscent of their debut album Tres Records (DJ Alibi, Lightheaded, Giant Panda). Funny, funky, and fresh! Here’s how the story goes: They first met because of Aloe Blacc (Stones Throw Records). Blu was recording a verse and Ta’Raach (pronounced “T’Rock”) walked into the room and said, “That’s cool, but do it again with some more emotion.” Blu gave Ta’Raach a look and the relationship was born, but didn’t pop off until a common thread brought them together…”bitches”. They would be at hot spots and the girls they knew always seemed to be acquaintences, which would give them opportunities to stay up on what they had going on musically. Eventually, the “bitches” dropped out of the scene, but Blu and Ta’Raach were still bumping into each other, so they knew they needed to have a “lock-in” for a week and collab on some records. With the fridge and kitchen stocked full of snacks, the duo began their mission. Unfortunately, the drinks and food were smashed within the first two hours, but the group somehow managed to forge on. By the sixth day, Ta’Raach and Blu realized that they could change the world with music. They strategically decided to move in completely different directions with each track and on the eighth day, Ta’Raach flew to Europe while Blu went to Pasadena and the album was complete. Thus, C.R.A.C. (pronounced “Crass”) is the musical collaboration of producer/emcee Ta’Raach (a protege of the late J Dilla) and emcee Blu (OkayPlayer. com 2007 Rookie of the Year). According to their record label, “C.R.A.C. is an acronym for Collect Respect Anna Check, a name and idealism representing the movement of like-minded musicians, artists, and producers for a structural change in previous stratifications of power and belief systems.” Though it’s hard to pigeon-hole the sound of this record because one track may give you a Common hip-hop feel (similar to Blu’s first LP “Below The Heavens”) while the next track reminds you of Gnarls Barkley, the common denominator in C.R.A.C.’s equation is “fun.” Oh yeah, the “bitches” are still around too. They’ve upgraded to porn stars and threesomes, but those are stories for another day.

-Chase Valentine

Recommended if you like: Common, Gnarls Barley, Erykah Badu, Aloe Blacc, Platinum Pied Pipers, J Dilla, Charizma/Peanut Butter Wolf.

Related links: http://www. myspace. com/cracknuckles, http://www. myspace. com/taraach, http://www. myspace. com/herfavcolor

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