Kredulous

When you invite the neighborhood to be featured on your album, you run the risk that your neighbors will outshine you. The good news for the artists that populate Kansas City rapper Kredulous’ Tears of an Angel is that the host makes a facile business of jacking his swagger. Promise lurks in the first few moments of the album, when Kred’s guttural, DMX-like rasp peeks through the polished production. Almost as soon as Kredulous opens his mouth, however, he swallows his own potential. It’s hard to differentiate between tracks because the entire heap of an album is littered with parallel, laugh-out-loud moments of misogyny and gangster wackness. It’s not that either of those themes can’t be done well — Too Short and 50 Cent have staked successful careers on them. By contrast, Kredulous’ lyrics are trite and banal, lacking in discernible imagination. On “Don’t You,” Kredulous quips: My style, in the zone/Ringtone, on your phone. He rivals that inanity later in the same song when he boasts, I rock the hat to the side/With your bitch in the back of the ride. Perhaps Prozak and DZK, the lyrically dexterous rappers featured on “We the People” — a misplaced political track on this party album — can offer some free tutoring. There are fine moments in Tears of an Angel. It’s just that few, if any, involve Kredulous himself.

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