Mad Dukez & Fresh Kils Gettin’ Gatsby

Mad Dukez & Fresh Kils Gettin’ Gatsby
9
The cross-border duo of fast-rising Buffalo, NY battle rapper Mad Dukez and veteran Toronto, ON beat-maker and live MPC button-masher Fresh Kils have proven that their musical chemistry is a potent combination with two previous EPs, but they were mere holdovers for their originally conceived concept album based upon the novel The Great Gatsby. Rather than retelling the story in rap form, Dukez and Kils use F. Scott Fitzgerald's tome as inspiration to explore similar themes: success, money, excess, etc. For those unfamiliar with the narrative or too lazy to listen to the lyrics, narrator Stephanie Courtney provides a summation of the major plot points over a few interludes that reveal the thematic influences in the songs and reinforce their connection to the source material. Dukez is a confident rapper, one equally capable of braggadocio battle raps, quirky concepts or solid storytelling, with a style of delivery that's easy to digest. His words are made even more appealing by Kils — a perfect match — with his mostly mellow production bringing the sounds of the Roaring Twenties to the present day, although he also comes through with a few banging tracks, like opener/lead single "Bootleg Bartender" or the epic "Valley View," the hook and beat perfect for commercial radio. Gettin' Gatsby is only ten tracks long, so it's a bit short, but it's also filler-free. This is a great album, and hopefully it's not the last collaboration from the duo now that their initial reason for collaborating is finally finished. (Deep Thinka)