not good, but good intentions

Times Up (Atlantic)

By Kory Wilcoxson

K-Solo straddles the line between bubble-gum kiddie rap and PG gangsta rhymes, never really succeeding at either and neverdistinguishing himself from the bazillion rappers in existence.

Solo spreads himself too thin on Times Up to be effective in any one song. He bounces from fugitive to working-class teen to ten-year-old kid to prisoner too quickly and with obvious seams. In a field where smoothness is everything, K-Solo could use some sanding.

But he deserves credit for some of the messages he's sending. On the weak social commentary "Who's Killing Who?" he raps, "Blackman gotta stop calling his women a bitch, your mother's a black woman, that makes you a son of a bitch."

And on "The Baby Doesn't Look Like Me," about his ordeals when he finds out his girlfriend is pregnant, he says, "I bought the Pampers, socks, bottles and shoes cuz all those things a baby's father is supposed to do." This statement of responsibility is worlds ahead of artists like Ice Cube.

But Solo is a lyrical lightweight when placed along someone with the raw power of Cube. Solo's pea soup voice and nondescript beats ensure that his positive message will never see success.