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Music Review: The Dirtball – Crook County

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A metal fan reviewing a hip hop album? Scary isn't it? I know, it doesn't happen too often. This is one of those journeys to the other side. What is even more rare than this hip hop excursions is seeing two reviews of the same artist, but that is exactly what is happening here. Plus, if you count his involvement with the SubNoize Souljaz, this is the third time I have reviewed him.

The artist in question is Oregon native The Dirtball, and the album is his third release called Crook County. What is the down and dirty with The Dirtball? Well, the short answer is Crook County is a pretty good collection of tunes.

It was a little over a year ago that I reviewed his last album, Raptillion, an album that left me less than impressed.  While I did not completely hate that album, I cannot say that I had any interest in revisiting it after I wrote the review. On the other hand, the Suburban Noize Records collaboration, SubNoize Souljaz (featuring Dirtball, Judge D, and KMK members Daddy X and Johnny Richter), has had the occasional revisit. With the release of Crook County, it appears that The Dirtball will, at the very least, get a few tracks into the rotation.

The first thing that stands out about The Dirtball (real name David Alexander) is his flow. The guy is smooth, his style employs a clean voice without a hint of growl. Next up is his speed, he can be very quick, and even when the speed ratchets up his annunciation is there, not a single syllable is slurred. Compared to the other, albeit limited, hip hop I listen to, he has possibly the smoothest, cleanest style I've listened to.

As for the beats? They have improved since the last album. There are some standard sounding beats, some live drums, and rock style sounds blended together nicely in a sound that seems relatively fresh.

What a difference a year makes. A year of tours, a year's worth of experience, and a year's time to work on your skills. It certainly not been wasted by The Dirtball. This album is a step in the right direction. It is not perfect by any stretch, but just the fact that it is an improvement over Raptillion says something. As an artist he is moving in the right direction.

Not every song on here is a winner. Some tracks just fall flat on my ears. Among the ones I skip are "Pitspit," "Just a Friend (feat. Lady Love)," and "Phantom Power." There are others that are middling, but don't really inspire the quick skippage.

On the other hand, there are a bunch of cuts that are destined to make their way to an iPod mix. Among the tracks to focus on are "Mushroom Cloud (feat. Daddy X)," "Nightshade (feat. CeeKay)," "Moonshine Rhyme," "Tried Trued + Tested (feat. Boondox)," and possibly my favorite cut on the whole album, "Mora Kyrkogarden."

Bottomline. Not a classic by any stretch, but definitely worth spending some time with. I do enjoy a good beat and fresh flow. I also like encountering artists that are dedicated to their craft and are obviously seen to be growing from one release to the next.

Recommended.

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About Draven99

  • john chenoweth

    yeah me and my wife love dirtball.we drove from quincy il to see him in sauget il .we love all his alblums i’m like you i like his latest cd the best .his words are so smooth and clear even though he’s so fast too you can understand every thing he say’s and i love what he rap’s about it’s on my level and a part of my life style too. i think he is like wine gets better with age.i can’t wait to see him again with the kmk and big b in sauget il tomorrow night it ought to be a great show .but most of all i can’t wait to see what he comes out with next.cause i will own me a copy thanx for your time and i hope you do more stories on dirtball and the subnoize soldiers thanx. john c

  • john chenoweth

    yeah me and my wife love dirtball.we drove from quincy il to see him in sauget il .we love all his albums i’m like you i like his latest cd the best .his words are so smooth and clear even though he’s so fast too you can understand every thing he say’s and i love what he rap’s about it’s on my level and a part of my life style too. i think he is like wine gets better with age.i can’t wait to see him again with the kmk and big b in sauget il tomorrow night it ought to be a great show .but most of all i can’t wait to see what he comes out with next.cause i will own me a copy thanx for your time and i hope you do more stories on dirtball and the subnoize souljas thanx. john c

  • http://www.sictoneproductions.com Lucius “Slanky” Beach

    I really enjoyed your review. The Dirtball is definately one of the most humble inspirational rap artists to lay bars in the Independent Market. As the producer of “Mora Kyrkogarden” it’s inspiring to know that that is your favorite track. He definately came with a different approach than my produced tracks on “Raptillion” which are: “Hate Bait” “Lifestyles” “Everyday” and “No One Left”. I have followed all your reviews on The Dirtball and enjoy reading them. I hope a new review for his new album is forthcoming.

    Thanks for lending an ear,

    Lucius “Slanky” Beach
    Sic-Tone Productions