Knowitall x Owlkast - The Machine
Knowitall and Owlkast produce a strong body of work that hits on all cyllinders.
Knowitall x Owlkast - The Machine
Knowitall is an artist whom I've become familiar with through Twitter & social media circles. His music stood out in a good way, never one to conform, instead blazing his own path. Last year I reviewed his Skip The Kid produced album Music Saved Me, which left a strong impression and had me anticipating his next project. While his follow-up album has a new producer Owlkast, Knowitall picks up where he left off and builds on it. With this new project Knowitall is solidifying his place in the underground landscape with his consistency, and growing fan base.
The Machine kicks off with the intro/title track. Here, Knowitall delivers his lyrics in a poetic, almost spoken-word fashion. He's floating overOwlkast's spacey production, his wordplay as sharp and witty as I've come to expect. The Machine being referenced on the track is multi-layered. Knowitall uses the track to open up about his experience and dependency on a dialysis machine while also addressing "the matrix" of our society. Knowitall brilliantly compares and contrasts the two in his verse.
Dialysis and the Matrix, I'm in a jail inside of a jail. Don't prescribe me no pills, let me lie here still.
On Steady Knowitall attacks with a barrage of witty lines and quotable bars. Here he's addressing the grind and struggle which shaped him.
Thankful for the hardship, that's what made me the god b*tch.
Knowitall has a knack for linking with producers whose beats are complimentary to his style and this pairing is no different. The way he tailors his flow and delivery simply stands out and puts the focus on his bars.
On Mr. Knowitall the emcee is in full brag and boast mode breaking down what makes him so dope while putting exactly that on display. Knowitall follows this joint up with Stop Staring which reveals some of his insecurities while he flips the concept of 'stop staring' in many different ways.
Run Son is an absolute banger which features Rome Wise. Both emcees absolutely kill their verses. It's evident there was some friendly competition here that brought out the best in each emcee. Knowitall's verse is dark and grimey blending with the mood set by Owlkast's production. You don't get a traditional hook, but a catchy refrain:
You better Run Son like Diggy
Rome Wise drops a dope feature packing a lot into his verse. Here he's dropping knowledge and cautionary tales about surviving the streets.
Win without compromising integrity, build a prominent legacy beyond celebrity, while aviding sirens and felonies.
On Hard Times the topic is self explanatory. Knowitall goes down memory lane. While not reminiscing about the fondest of memories, its still worn like a badge of honor.
Sometimes I get reminded of the bad times. My whole team out the gutter like the Fab 5. Need therapy instead we getting mad high, smoke and talk about the old days.
On No Friends Knowitall flips a topic that's been addressed in Hip Hop since back when Whodini was dropping their classics. The emcee goes in on so called friends calling them "fake as public defenders". Knowitall flat out states there's no loyalty in the streets and proclaims he stays alive by staying to himself.
Einstein Rhyming is a change of pace with Knowitall back in braggadocio mode and getting into more of a free flowing rhyme. Mourning Run drops a solid guest verse here. Hustlin' is a short but sweet joint, that's both witty and aspirational.
On Don't Fail Pt. 2 Knowitall links with Backwood Sweetie, another emcee who is rightfully generating a strong buzz. Both emcees drop ill verses. This is the joint you play to get motivated if you're ever doubting yourself, but it's also a joint you play just cause its dope.
The album concludes with Life Is Crazy which wraps up the whole concept of The Machine which was introduced on the intro.
On The Machine Knowitall drops an album with a concept, but one that doesn't feel forced or contrived. A full listen through the album reveals how well everything ties together. Knowitall is as entertaining as ever on the mic, dropping some witty bars and unfiltered one liners that will have you second guessing if he really said what you thought you heard... (Yes he did). The Machine is an enjoyable listen from begining to end and a great follow up to Music Saved Me.
Check out The Machine on Apple Music and all Streaming platforms.