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Kidz In The Hall, Occasion

It’s nice to take a break from the stress to kick back and have some fun. Despite the concerts, video vixens, Audemars Piguet watches, and the other things typically associated with successful rap careers, the scene can get tiring and stressful. MC-producer duo Kidz In The Hall recognized this issue, and, with Occasion, decided to craft an LP with one simple goal in mind: having fun.

Backed by an MTV2-sponsored reality show to document the process, the fourteen-track album boasts Naledge, Double-O, and friends including Marsha Ambrosius, Tabi Bonney, Bun B and David Banner creating songs that celebrate a partying lifestyle, the pursuit of young love (well, lust), and living life to the fullest. The result is tailored toward the stereotypical collegiate definition of “fun,” sounding like the soundtrack to a keg party, rather than the “grown and sexy” interpretation of a good time.

Naledge exhibits an impressively smooth and lyrical flow and delivery, and beatsmith Double-O exercises his versatility, switching from a head-nodder to get hip-hop purists’ attention (“Won’t Remember Tonight”) to some pop-sounding instrumentals (“Occasion”), and even throwing in some rock influence (“Break It Down”) for good measure. Despite being a fine example of the artists’ strength as versatile musicians, the content and sound also prove to be Occasion’s biggest setback. The LP walks the line between pop and hip-hop, and may seem too Top 40 catered for those looking for the mortarboard style that Kidz entered the game with, but a little too hardcore for the pure pop fans.

For listeners looking for something to balance out the opulent lifestyle so frequently in radio raps these days, Occasion will prove an adequate counterweight to popping beer instead of champagne, chasing the girl next door instead of the supermodel, and taking trips in a Honda Civic rather than a private jet. —Amanda Bassa

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