By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
An August release for Ali & Gipp's Kinfolk is perfect. The single "Go Head" is tearing up the strip clubs fresh on the heels of Nelly's smash hit "Grillz," which features the pair alongside artist-of-the- moment Paul Wall. Not only that, the record builds on the buzz from that crazy new act Gnarls Barkley, since Gipp is a member of Cee-Lo's crew, Goodie Mob. There's even a timely Laffy Taffy reference!
If it were August 2006, when Kinfolkwas originally scheduled for release, all this would be true. But even though Universal sat on it for a year and the lyrics are standard Midwestern/Southern stuff (boasts about having the resources to shop at the mall, etc.), the stripped-down beats are infectious from top to bottom, which is no mean feat for an hour-long work. It may lack the cross- over potential of "Grillz" or St. Elsewhere, but one song borrows the vocal hook from Genesis' "That's All," so there's that.
Kinfolk is also stamped with Nelly's Derrty Ent. imprint, and the world's most famous St. Louisan's paws are all over it. He knows how to craft a winner, that's for sure. Or at least he did this time last year.