The CunninLynguists Release Strange Journey Volume 2

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Nov 9, 2009

Music can be categorized in a lot of ways.  Backpackers like myself (and PackFM) will often refer to Hip-Hop as something categorically distinct from Rap, usually denoting its superior quality of lyrical content.  They also will refer to an artist as Underground, as distinct from Mainstream, usually not to describe an artist not on a major label, but rather, colloquially in reference to the more interesting subject matter, or raw character of the music.  I use another: Music That Matters (as opposed to Everything Else).

The Cunninlynguists make Underground Hip-Hop Music That Matters.

I have no doubt in my mind, after listening to this incredibly talented Southern US trio’s 8th album, that the Cunninlynguists have made some of the greatest Hip-Hop of all time.  They write songs that are at once culturally relevant, and timeless. Their music is aural poetry that speaks realness, and evokes emotion both visceral and deeply contemplative.  It’s also occasionally hilarious and even absurdist. Their lyrics are clever, and wittier than most modern artists by an order of magnitude. For example, if we accept the statement that Eminem is Music (Eminem=Music), then Cunninlynguists=Music*10^24. Their intelligent lyrical content and treatment of interesting subject matter makes me proud to be a listener, and the subtleties are a real treat for a fan who listens to their albums cover to cover dozens of times.

It’s also fair to say that I will keep coming back to this album because, like all of their earlier releases, the production on every single track is absolutely outstanding.  There is not a single song on this album that doesn’t knock it out of the park, and make the listener feel like each person who touched this album before it’s release cared about every detail of its contents.  There is no filler here; the production is a testament to Kno’s incredible musical talent and love for his craft.  While at once completely cohesive as an album, Strange Journey Volume 2 has the same range from track to track that most artists spend careers trying to cover or grow through.  Kno masterfully blends soul, jazz, gospel, and the very best parts of modern Hip-Hop in to beats and rhythms that are unique unto themselves, interesting, and addictive.

In short, you need to listen to this album.

The Cunninlynguists Myspace

Their Label, QN5 Music (Best Label in class, hands down)

Strange Journey Vol. 2 can be purchased via these links: iTunes | Amazon

The guys have an upcoming 28 city US tour, starting on November 10.  I can say, genuinely, that you would be cheating yourself if you missed an opportunity to see them live.  Check out their US Tour Dates here.

[audio:Substantial and Burns – The W.W.K.Y.A. Tour ft. Extended Famm (Kno Remix).mp3,CunninLynguists – To Be For Real.mp3,CunninLynguists – Running Wild (ft. E-40 and Evidence).mp3]

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