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Kurious: A Constipated Monkey [PA]

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Japanese only limited edition paper sleeve pressing. Sony. 2009.

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (4/7/94, p.73) - 3 1/2 Stars - Good Plus - "...Kurious refuses to reduce himself to a stereotype, instead demanding that we focus on getting the jam jumping...."

Vibe (2/94, p.106) - "...a 23-year old who's not willing to rely simply on his street credibility to get him over....Rappers rarely bring forth such coming-of-age experiences with the kind of candor and vulnerability you might hear from a close friend...."

The Source (2/94, p.74) - "...Kurious rocks the mic like a true MC should ....Rap purists and fans of bugged-out freestyle shouldn't hit the snooze button on this one...."

Album Notes

Personnel: Kurious Jorge; Casual, Grim Reaper (raps); Kadi, D.J. Lord Sear.

Producers: The Beatnuts, The SD50's, Prime Minister Pete Nice & Daddy Rich, Bosco Money.

Engineers: Rich Keller, Adam Gazzola, John Gamble, Kevin Reynolds.

Recorded at Chung King Studios and Rampant Recording Studio, New York; LGK Studios, New Jersey.

All songs written or co-written by Jorge Alvarez. Contains samples from "Mysterious Vibes" (as performed by the Black Byrds), "Free Soul" (as performed by John Klemmer), "Stoned Soul Picnic" (as performed by the Fifth Dimension), and "Gibraltar" (as performed by Stanley Turrentine).

Banking on the underground success of his singles "Walk Like a Duck" and "Uptown Shit," Kurious Jorge (the rapper, not the monkey from children's books) released his debut album in early 1994. The album's subtle mix of underground vigor and flavorful party anthems pleased many of hip-hop's discerning aficionados. A guest list that included the Hieroglyphics' Casual and DJ Lord Sear on the mic and a back-from-the-dead Bosco Money from Downtown Science, the Beatnuts, and Pete Nice and Daddy Rich on production gave the album a session feel. The album's wide range of samples, from the Blackbyrds to Fifth Dimension, made for a quirky overall musical effect. Kurious does well to play up the strength of his style, a concise and careful delivery without sacrificing wit. In the end, the catchy single "I'm Kurious" may be the album's only true watermark, but cuts like "Top Notch" and the B-side "Mansion and a Yacht," featuring Sadat X from Brand Nubian, are also bona fide mid-'90s hip-hop jams. ~ M.F. DiBella


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