Review: Pinnacle TheHustler’s ‘K.O.R.E.A.’
“K.O.R.E.A. The Album” takes you back to a time in Hip Hop when the music was both fun and introspective.
The album is nostalgic, without fully remaining in the not-so-distant past of hip-hop culture. On the track “Drop the Bomb,” Pinnacle invokes the rhyme scheme that was made popular in the late 80’s before switching back to his trademark machine gun flow. However, Pinnacle’s flow is on full display with the safety button off on “We go Hard in Korea.”
Even though he raps like an automatic weapon, he doesn’t compromise precision or clarity, leaving his haters wondering if they should wear a Teflon vest. The stand-out songs on the record are “Hip Hop Got Seoul” and “The Game.” The former track is over a smooth beat by legendary producer J. Dilla. The song serves as a de facto ode to the producer extraordinaire. The latter track finds Pinnacle painting an audio picture about the game that we all must play in life. Pinnacle shines on this track and tucks away the bravado, letting his vulnerability surface.
With lyrics like “It’s a crazy game that we play, I think it’s safe to say that it’s hard to maintain the same brain,” Pinnacle gives the listener insight on the inner workings of an individual faced with societal ills. Interestingly, the original title of the album was slated as “North Korea,” but Pinnacle TheHustler decided to rename it “K.O.R.E.A. The Album” (the acronym is hidden in the music). Imagine the heat the album would have taken had the original titled remained.
“K.O.R.E.A. The Album” is an LP that you can’t nail down because it’s a little bit of everything, without lacking focus. It’s an album that pays homage to the Golden Age of hip-hop (a period in hip hop culture between the 1980’s and 90’s that characterized diversity in style and music).
This album has returned to the formula of an emcee being more than a rapper, but an individual that is complex and vulnerable. It is trend that in recent years has been resurrected by artists akin to Kanye West, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.