Local Wire

Chad Krystal$

Grade: B-

I generally try to make the weekly You Asked For It review at phxmusic.com more about music than career counseling, but there's no way to avoid it with this week's artist, Phoenix rapper Chad Krystal$.

Krystal$ has some things going for him. His white-boy flow isn't bad, he's got a few clever rhymes on Superconscious, and the album's retro-vibe G-Funk-style beats and soul hooks got me a few times, especially when the record finds its groove toward the middle, on "Start the Show" and "Musical Precision."

But, fact is, career prospects are limited for white rappers, as the record-buying public is, by and large, indifferent to them unless they've got a gimmick. Basically, to find success, they can clown around (Eminem), be cerebral (Aesop Rock), go horror-core (Insane Clown Posse), or do the stoner thing (Kottonmouth Kings).

The stoner thing is actually a pretty good bet for Krystal$ or — using the moniker I'd like to see him adopt — Chaddy B. Blunt.

Now, this isn't something I'm pulling from thin air. Krystal$ offers up prime real estate inside his record for a picture of him sucking down smoke from a bong Rube Goldberg himself would have blown and a "Did You Know?" taken straight from NORML's talking points. Toss that picture on the cover, drop a few more pot-related rhymes (referencing legendarily potent and/or obscure strains is always good, as is plenty of famous-stoner name-dropping) and this CD could be very marketable, though certainly to a smallish segment of the population.

But, oh, what a segment it is. Fans of stoner rap are notoriously loyal and completely un-fickle, and Superconscious is, honestly, every bit as good as KMK's latest, The Green Album, even having been made with, presumably, a fraction of the budget.

If Chaddy B. Blunt would write songs like "Free Mark Emery" and "Smokin Wit Willie" I'm pretty sure he could make a go of this music thing. As it stands, though, he's mostly a pretty average white rapper.

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar