The ever expanding hip-hop universe from our friends across the pond has brought us Pencils Not Pistols by Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. This seven track EP was released in early November and in those seven tracks are sample based beats layered with a contemporary style of lyricism. The duo of Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K began after Imperial sent K.I.N.E.T.I.K an e-mail proposing a collaboration. Luckily for us, the two didn’t stop after the initial one track they were slated to do. The chemistry between the two is felt and it creates this fun and upbeat EP.
The lyrics on Pencils Not Pistols are fun, honest, and sometimes even humorous. Though none of the lines will absolutely blow you away, you will hear something that is becoming more and more scarce in hip-hop: the artists actually sound like they are having fun! I feel as if much of the underground rap community tries so hard to get heard and to stand out that they don’t sound like they truly enjoy making music. Therefore, this is a good change of pace because, while you can hear the artists having fun, they also do speak on serious topics. Make no mistake, this album isn’t just a bunch of jokes, but it is lively and serious at the same time and that’s enjoyable to hear every now and again.
Pencils Not Pistols features an assortment of styles in regards to the beats. There is no true theme presented, which is okay to a degree. Though this individual EP doesn’t sound sequential, it still works as none of the beats are too far-fetched from each other. Nevertheless, there were times on the album that I felt the beat didn’t match the lyrical matter. For example, on the track “Count Your Blessings,” a pretty real subject matter was being discussed all while a bright, jazzy beat was prancing in the background. This isn’t to say that some people won’t like it, but it may come off as a bit misleading.
As far as EP’s go, this one is fairly strong. Pistols Not Pistols didn’t present anything too over the top but it did incorporate a spirited sound. There were a few minor faults that brought down the overall value of the album, but it was things that some will like and some could go without (so it is per listener, really). Although the U.S and the Brits have had their past, take this as peace offering. Kind of like the Statue of Liberty was from France, except this offering comes in the form of a free music download (HA!).