Audio Mixer: Ben Cybulsky.
Photographer: James Meierotto.
Crafting a thug party anthem out of a Willy Wonka line ("I Don't Like the Look of It") and using the '70s sitcom Three's Company as inspiration for a strip club jam ("Jack Tripper") rapper Kutt Calhoun is still the Strange Music label's strongest link to the streets, but here, he's certainly upped the funny. Maybe it's hanging around label boss Tech N9ne, who guest stars on the great "I Been Dope" ("I been dope since Reaganomics/Son of a crack fiend, holla at me"), but most of the exciting moments on Black Gold are when Kutt goes weird and/or wild, or maybe even novelty. It's the last one that drives "See What Happened Was," a highlight track somewhere between a Kevin Hart routine and C&C Music Factory's "Things That Make You Go Hmm.." A big exception has to be the moving "Baby Mama Drama" where Kutt flips the script and approaches his deadbeat baby mama with proper disgust ("A coke using alcoholic? You foul with no class") before letting some vicious voicemails play over the song's outro. Strange Music regular Seven offers up all the diverse and infectious productions, save the lumbering gangsta golem called "It's Goin Down" which comes from the aptly named Monsta Muzik. ~ David Jeffries