Shankhini One of a Kind

One of a Kind is the truth. The mainstay of the music critic, drawing comparison, does not quite apply to a discussion of T-dot/Van-city vocalist Shankhini. This introduction to her wails and wiles is versatile and distinctive, which can be a strength, but too much skittish jumping around can sometimes make for bumpy listening. A half dozen producers contributed beats to the project, a mixture of studio tracks and live recordings, and the rapping-and-singing Shankhini stands strongly and proudly over each one. The album opens with "Smooth Flow,” a Moka Only-produced gem of an introduction, coaxing you in with a promise of soulful groove, and Evade compliments Shanks’ saucy hook on "Respect” with a hot burst of horns. While much of the album is an exercise in bold sincerity, "My Release” is particularly raw, and though Shanks’ strong suit does not lie in aggressive emceeing, the stirred mixture of her lyrics with Chin Injeti’s beat make this one of the more potent song on the record. As uneven as One of a Kind may be, Shankhini has particular moments when she shines. The fiery femme-rapper-cum-vocalist title isn’t the kicker, though — this lady’s positive and untamed Amazonian energy explodes through everything she touches. (Independent)