Arkeologists x Bobby Balkan The Beautiful Ugly

Arkeologists x Bobby Balkan The Beautiful Ugly
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K-Dot-O-Dot returns with a new name likely thanks to the appropriation of the K-Dot moniker by Kendrick Lamar. Despite the name change, Bobby Balkan is everything you would expect from Toronto's K-Dot: his tight delivery is straightforward, which makes it easy to take in the lyrics, and his writing is intelligent with a deadpan sense of humour even as he raps about drugs, bitches and a twisted sort of degenerate braggadocio.

Regular collaborator Arkeologists provides Balkan with his usual gritty production that draws heavily from soul music, often including thick layers of sampled soul singers. They're joined here by Balkan's Drugstore Cowboys partner 9th Uno on first single "High" and Unknown Mizery, who recently released Busking in Bombay with Arkeologists, on "Joy and Pain," on which DJ Shamann splices the hooks from "Frankenstein's Pain" by Toronto rapper-producer Frankenstein and "Joy & Pain" by Rob Base & EZ Rock for a wicked chorus that's more pain than joy.

On other highlights, K-Dot proves to be bad relationship material over a beat featuring a funky guitar riff with "Mama Kin," and claims the crown on horn heavy "Leather Throne." The Beautiful Ugly is only ten tracks and less than 30 minutes in length so not only is it a quick listen, there isn't a bit of filler, either. (Independent)