B-KASHZ: Now or Never 

From the often-overlooked hip-hop corner of the Boise music scene comes B-KASHZ with a new full-length LP, Now or Never. Channeling influences from both coasts, the first track samples Snoop Dog while the second might remind the listener of a Mos Def beat, although unlike Mos, B-KASHZ tends to angrily spit out his words and has no reservations about dropping f-bombs like a shock-and-awe campaign. The sound quality is quite good and the music itself has a rare tendency (in hip-hop, anyway) toward melodic movement, giving someone who doesn't necessarily get into a lot of hip-hop something else to listen to besides just rap.

While in some ways, B-KASHZ likes to fly in the face of conventional hip-hop, in other ways, he's riding the trendy tide. With lyrics about how he's "dropping hits" and "these tracks are going to make me a millionaire" and the Eminem-inspired rhythmic devices of track six, "It's Your Fault," and track eight, "Casually," the ideas are a bit played out. There's no escaping the feeling that we've heard a lot of this before.

But Now or Never is, overall, an album that plenty of people will really enjoy, from club dancers to those annoying drivers who rattle windows with their ridiculously large sub-woofers. Now or Never is a well-produced and well-thought-out endeavor, and a sample of the various tastes Idaho has to offer.

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