Zambian born Hip-Hop artist, C.R.I.$.I.$. has released his much anticipated third studio album called "Mr. Swagger."
In January 2005, he released the first Hip-Hop album in Zambia. Going against the grain, the album 'Officer in Charge' was in English as opposed to the local language music that people were used to. Today, he is hailed as a pioneer and is refereed to by his fans as the Zambian King of Hip-Hop.
Four years and two albums later, comes his newest offering, 'Mr. Swagger.'
C.R.I.$.I.$. rates this record as his favorite of all the projects has worked on.
"The album sounds like The Incredible Hulk having sex.” He further stated that, because this is a new sound, there is no better explanation to describe it.
"The sound is a mixture of Pink Floyd (Dark Side of The Moon)/Dr. Dre (The Chronic 1992) and Andre 3000" says C.R.I.$.I.$.
It opens with the orchestral "Lights, Camera, Action' a song that clearly show's the artists creativity as him and 'Diamond Chain' guest artist 'Camstar' display a simple yet very intelligent way of creating lyrics. The song makes a grand opening for the album as it catches the listener’s attention. With C.R.I.$.I.$. developing his singing talent, him and Levins share the chorus on this epic opening for the album. The song promises to be a street anthem.
"Hold Me Down" is a stand out club banger that see's the rapper using a singing style as opposed to the typical rap. The song heightens as it goes and so does the second verse after the bridge. Upcoming rapper, Camstar also appears on this song with a catchy rap just before the song closes down.
Other notable songs are the monstrous "Electric Boogie" which is currently enjoying radio play in Zambia and beginning to be recognized worldwide. The song is reminiscent of 90's Hip-Hop but in a modern way. It sounds like a Mixture of George Clinton's Parliament Funk with a modern sound that is reminiscent of Deathrow Records at its peak.
On the song 'LSK City (Lusaka),' the rapper describes his birth place Lusaka, Zambia. The song alone can be handy tool for tourists. Without the existence of this song on the album, it's very difficult to know that the rapper is not American. The rapper uses the song as an identity of where he is from.
Helicopters, Chaos, Police and an emergency call are the opening sounds on the Exile assisted "Connected."
The song 'Radio' finds the rapper reminiscing about a lady that he misses most. While driving through the city, he get's on the phone to ask the DJ to dedicate a song to the lady as he raps ..."you know what? I'll address you as my queen, if you let me be the crown coz, I just want to be around you." The songs lyrics touch on a lot of reality. While the rapper also sings the chorus, it is the unexpected execution that lifts the song up. Being able to do everything including the production only confirms why others refer to him as the full package.
"Going to Bollywood" is one of the album's exceptional tracks as it blends Indian and Egyptian sounds in one. Singer/Rapper 'Exile' makes another appearance here. The wicked combination between him and Mr. Swagger leaves listeners wishing for a Best of Both Worlds type of album. The two are undeniably great together. The song finds the two men making a trip to Bollywood to find that beautiful Indian Goddess. The rappers knowledge of the Indian culture can clearly be heard as he raps "...If I could, I would build you the Taj Mahal/and give you the cash, the cars...." The song is catchy, fast paced and will easily become a club favorite. It has street appeal while still catering to the commercial market. This is a skill that few rappers such as The late Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z etc. have been able to achieve in the game.
After a fun filled journey of songs, the album finally closes with a Michael Jackson dedication called "Sing Another Day." The song features one of Zambia's top singer's K'milion, with the guitars being handled by Uncle Rex, one of Zambia's top guitarists. C.R.I.$.I.$. clearly chose to work with the best on this album. "Sing Another Day" has been described by many as one of the most honest dedications made for The King of Pop. The songs gives the listener a clear picture of Michael Jackson's influence on the artist. C.R.I.$.I.$. almost sounds as if him and MJ had known each other. It is a sincere effort.
The album, 'Mr. Swagger' takes many unexpected turns but yet still, sounds together. It is a must have for anybody that is into collecting music with longevity. This album is for today, tomorrow and it is a blueprint for the future. Get it if you haven't already.
The album officially hits record stores on Tuesday, 25/08/09
NOTE: For those living overseas, please be patient as the album takes a longer time to be delivered to iTunes. It takes on average, 4-8 weeks for any record to be delivered there.
However, should you want to order a copy directly from Diamond Chain Services, please use the following contacts:
If you'd like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with C.R.I.$.I.$. aka Mr. Swagger, please contact Crystin Stephens.
Crystin Stephens (P.R./Artist Manager-Diamond Chain Services)
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C.R.I.$.I.$. aka Mr. Swagger is a Zambian born Hip-Hop Artist/Producer/
15,000+ CD's and Cassettes sold in Lusaka alone, C.R.I.$.I.$.’
2008-Released the album called, ‘Designer.’