The ambitious duo of Rugged Monk and Crisis tha Sharpshooter also known as Black Knights spur from the city of Campton, California but are creating projects that the whole world can vibe to. Artists from this rough area tend to include a lot of deviancy such as crime, sex and drugs in their lyrics and the Black Knights appear to be following in those footsteps but slowly adding their own spin to the west coast rap genre with the help of producer John Frusciante.
Guitarist John Frusciante from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is the pioneer behind the “Medieval Chamber” producing the entire album. Surprisingly, his instrumentals consist of mainly synthesizers and drum machines and barely any guitar. This fascinating musical collaboration resulted in the melodious integration of modern classical rock and Hip Hop/R&B known as the “Medieval Chamber.”.
The Black Knights remind me of a young and upcoming Outkast: Rugged Monk being Andre, Crisis resembling Big Boi. They have the same lyrical style of rap as the popular group and infuse plenty of singing in most of the choruses. John’s classic chilling voice is featured in some of the tracks. Track 7 “Dejavu” has John’s vocals on the chorus bringing back his old times with the Red Hot Chili Peppers while the synthesizers carry you into present time. The intro, “Drawbridge”, begins with guns saluting as a great hook that leads the listener into a dark military type beat created by the heavy use of drums that John Frusciante has perfected. Track 2, “The Joust”, also features John on the chorus and feels like a 80’s Hip Hop track with nothing but drums, snares and vocals. Altogether John’s vocals and production amplified by the Black Knights talents define the album.
On the other hand, the first 4 tracks are filled with numerous punch lines setting a high standard for the rest of the album but the other half felt like a comprehensive lack of effort. It is quite clear in the intro that Compton is referred to as the medieval chamber but this common allegory is overly repeated in the rest of the songs. It appeared repetitive which in turn moderated the narration at the end.
Overall, “Medieval Chamber” is a well composed album featuring instrumentals from the great John Frusciante. Although it starts off with a bang, the second half of the album does not surpass the standard set by the first half and can seem boring or too repetitive. The Black Knights prove their great potential in this album and I’m looking forward to some improvements in their consistency in the future.
Reviewed by Kingsley Nyaosi