Recording information: Daman Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Alexander Richter.
A meeting of two of hip-hop's great veterans (and keenest minds), SURVIVAL SKILLS brings together KRS-One and Buckshot. When a hip-hop forum combines this level of talent, it rarely disappoints and this 2009 effort is no exception. The album opens on the title track, and it's a standard intro/reminder boast cut, an artform in which both MCs excel (particularly KRS), and it sets the tone. Leave it to this pair to fire the most reasoned analysis of autotune and unoriginal hip-hop, as they do on "Robot," with Buckshot paying tribute to Roger Troutman's vocal manipulations, while KRS-One shouts out to Afrika Bambaataa and Kraftwerk to point out how all rappers owe debts. And from there the album never lets up, as the two intelligent rappers trade riffs with ease, flipping insight on a powerful record by two hip-hop teachers.
Spin (p.80) - "Thankfully, their oratorical skills remain undiminished."
CMJ - "KRS-One's charismatic from-the-diaphragm boom sits congruently alongside Buckshot's creamy yet no less commanding flow..."
XXL (Magazine Publisher) (p.126) - "The duo's chemistry is apparent on the anti-Auto-Tune single `Robot,' as Buck's laid-back delivery offsets KRS' booming timbre over a straightforward beat from Mobb Deep's Havoc."