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K-Rino’s Latest Album “Seven Hour Block” Prod. by DJ Trajic Proves H-Town Vet is Going 4 Decades Strong (Album Review)

K-Rino is a 53 year old MC from Houston, Texas notable for co-founding the South Park Coalition collective with Ganksta N-I-P now known as Brother NIP as well as his extensive discography. Highlights include Stories From the Black BookDanger ZoneNo MercySolitary ConfinementAnnihilation of the Evil MachineThe Maven & who could forget the 7-disc The Big 7? Anyway he just came off his 35th album Audio Optics last month & it was ok, but I was interested going into 7 Hour Block.

After the “Arrival” intro, the first song “Got the Game Twisted” is an incredibly chilling opener to the LP talks about witnessing people go mad for fast riches in front of his very eyes whereas “Bad Understanding” shifts into boom bap territory a bit admitting he has exactly that & absolutely no one can break the cycle. “Words 2 Live By” has to be a favorite of mine on the album working in more kicks & snares along with a soul sample breaking down that life ain’t life until you start living it through prior to “The Ghost Maker” gets in his hardcore bag over some pianos.

“Something Better” gives off a funkier groove explaining how sad it is for him to watch greatness reducing itself & being average musically ain’t something to be content with just before Lord Save Us” instrumentally kinda feels like a homage to Dr. Dre’s production style during the 2000s asking God to save everyone from all the war-makers & fraud capers. “Cut Throat” of course shoots for a more sinister atmosphere & confrontational lyricism, but then “Bout to Pop” mixes some piano chords & hi-hats explains that situations happen in life so your mind can adapt.

The track “Friend Zone” begins the encore of the album by drawing inspiration from jazz rap telling the story of a woman she met at a party with among a group that he was in while “If You Were Still Here” has this chugging guitar passage & weeping strings talking about the absence of the fallen weighing heavy & that you gotta make songs about this kinda topic time to time. “The Departure” wraps up Killer Rhymes Intellectually Nullifying Opponents’ 36th LP with an outro shouting out everyone who’s been rocking with him all this time.

This dude has been celebrating 4 decades of being in the rap game with a discography bigger than artists like KRS-One, E-40 & Tech N9ne. But in my opinion: 7 Hour Block has to be my favorite thing Rino has done since A Long Short Way nearly 3 years ago already. DJ Trajic’s production is consistently eclectic pulling from boom bap, trap & jazz rap with the H-Town veteran delivering a mixture of conscious & aggressive subject matter.

Score: 8/10

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