By: Kaleb Bronson
A reality driven wasteland of dreams, nightmares and sensibility, Kill the Vultures offer an organic hip-hop symphony with their new album Carnelian.
The Kill the Vultures duo consists of MC Crescent Moon and producer Anatomy, who supply heavy jazz influences on top of fibrous rhymes with this new record. Kill the Vultures are not new to the game, they have been a part of the Minnesota hip-hop scene since 1996, not as Kill the Vultures, but as Oddjobs. Not to mention the accolades they received in 2005 by City Pages, as the Best Hip-Hop Artist.
Carnelian is packed with deep orchestral cuts, a true journey through the record. Image a long Greyhound Bus ride to somewhere you’ve never been, which each track being a stop along the trail. The new people, the new sights and most of all, the new sounds. “The River” is the track that truly sinks deep and pulls the listener into the album, “someone must of stole the best pages of the manuscript,” Crescent Moon spits prior to a jazz-infused explosion taking over.
The album has a consistent base; it is obvious that the production was controlled by one man, Anatomy. It is layered on with grace and rapport. It is always a curiosity where an album title comes from when out of the ordinary, and Carnelian is one with that uniqueness. From the F I X/ Hip-Hop Collective’s website, “The title refers to a red semi-precious stone, which is often found in religious and royal artifacts. The root of the word carnelian refers to the Latin carnis, meaning flesh.”
Not one track on this record is surface level hip-hop. From the profound lyrics of “God’s Jewelry” to the puncturing “Smoke in the Temple,” and onto the almost dark carnival-like backdrop of “Don’t Bring the Devil,” each song is crisp and baptizing.
Kill the Vultures are in full swing with Carnelian, the album is alive like a hip-hop jamboree for the scholarly and cerebral.