Kevin Richie is a Qualified MC

[rating:7/10]

Kevin Richie, aka Kwalified Emcee, is indeed a qualified MC. Like my boy CookBook (who has a new joint releasing on the 26th with Uno Mas), Kwalified’s newest release is a concept album based on 80’s culture… though Kwalified is a bit more focused, specifically on the classic TV show The Wonder Years. If you are not familiar with the adolescent drama that ran from 1988 through the early to mid 90’s, then you need not read on, because you are not the target audience. If you, however, didn’t live under a rock during this time (or through the late 90’s and early 2000’s when it hit a second audience in syndication), then you should be able to appreciate Kwal’s Kevin Arnold EP.

Each track has its own flavor, some with a very blatant nod to the show and some that seem only vaguely connected, but the EP flows very well and makes this Wonder Years fan very nostalgic. Interwoven clips from the show and lyrics about Kevin’s big brother Wayne and his love interest Winnie Cooper (who is still quite hot, by the way) capture Kwalified desire to pay homage to a show that was ever present in the adolescent lives of many 20-somethings like myself.

The opening track sets the tone with a great clip, a little bit of the Joe Cocker theme, and a great intro song to the EP that features a chorus that quotes the famed lyrics originally sung by Ringo Starr. The seventh track concludes the homage to the show with Kwalified relating Kevin Arnold’s life to his own.

After these 7 tracks, Kwal includes 3 additional tracks that continue to highlight his talents (even though it seems that the right people have yet to discover him, as he declares in “Exit the Wonder Years” that he has yet to “make a dime” from “writing a rhyme”). My favorite track on the album, perhaps due to my own nerdiness as much as anything, is one of these 3 tracks. It is entitled “I Like She Like” and features the chorus, “I like Batman, she likes Superman.” Of course, I side with him and am not quite sure I could dig on a gal who prefers Superman (my wife much prefers Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego to Clark Kent’s, so I’m all good on that tip).

My other favorite tracks on this EP are “Winnie Cooper” (included on the January mixtape) and another of the 3 post-Wonder Years tracks entitled “Ohdee!” The old school WWF references hook me early on the latter track. Worth mentioning here, one of the sweet things about indie hip hop vs. indie rock is that self-produced hip hop doesn’t hurt the experience the way it can cripple a band trying to use Pro Tools on their laptop in a basement studio.

All in all, a fantastic effort by a nerdy MC that is likely to join the ranks of Pigeon John, Wyclef Jean, CookBook, Uno Mas, Int80, Beefy, and Mos Def in my personal pantheon of the dopest in the biz.

~ by thepaintedman on January 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “Kevin Richie is a Qualified MC”

  1. […] light of the review I posted earlier today, I thought to myself, Self, if you were a dope master of the ceremonies like Kevin […]

  2. […] You all know my boy, Kwalified Emcee. (If you don’t… then check him out!) […]

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