Since Hip-Hop began in the late 70s there have been various rappers who’ve come up from just about every country you might be able to imagine. Some are decent, fewer are great, and most are not worth mentioning. If you throw a rock down any block in the tri-state area that is New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, you are bound to hit a rapper. Also, if you go to any Hip-Hop show within the same geographic region you’ll most likely see a stocky, light skinned, bearded fellow by the name of Kane Mayfield embarrassing anyone who want to rap in the same cipher as him. Rappers come a dime a dozen these days, but rappers who can actually rap are a rarity in 2012. One thing is certain in 2012, Kane Mayfield can rap.
The next question that almost immediately comes to mind is, can Kane Mayfield make music and more importantly can he put together a complete project. With the recent release of Rhyme By Kane: Thievery Corporation Edition, Mr. Mayfield gave us all the opportunity to figure out where he lies on the playing field. Statements need to be made upon pressing play, and on “Rappity Rap” Kane Mayfield sets the tone making a couple of things very apparent. First, Kane Mayfield can rap, and I’m not talking about cute punchlines either. He’s got many flows and styles to go along with his delivery. Second, Kane Mayfield is dedicating his entire project to Thievery Corporation and as a result has an ear that is more open than most rappers. Furthermore, he’s capable of being charismatic and comedic character on the track which is more than can be said for the rappers out there afraid of their own shadow.
The last thing Kane says on “Rappity Raps” is, “That’s enough rappity raps” and I could not agree more. For better or worse, it seems as if he meant that for the duration of the track. Rhymes by Kane is a 9 track project that is just that, Rhymes By Kane. There is definitely no false advertisement here, and anyone who’s a fan of Kane should not and would not expect that. Fortunately, the rhymes are seldom an issue for the Long Island representative and that rings true once again throughout the project. Kane is able to often get into the pocket of these mood setting beats and do what he does. The biggest area of concern on this mixtape is not the beat selection or the raps, but rather his hooks and the content. Even on my favorite track, “Ghetto Almanac” Kane’s Kanye West inspired “Black man buy Jordans crackhead buy crack and the white man get paid off of all of that (3x) for those who know the Ghetto is an Almanac” there is room for improvement when it comes to the choruses, their catchiness, and creativity. This rings true for most of the project where there’s either a sample in place of the chorus or there is something left to be desired. At times its even difficult to spot them, simply because they don’t stand out the way they can. There is not a problem with the content per se, it is just presented in ways that have been done by many before him.
The stand out tracks here are “Patriot”, “New Jack City”, and “White Collar” in addition to “Ghetto Almanac”. The beats and rhymes are the glue to Rhymes By Kane, and they do compensate for what the mixtape lacks when it comes to the choruses as well as the creativity. At the end of the day when it comes to Hip-Hop, there are rappers and there are artists. Kane Mayfield is both, and although his latest release does change things up slightly with the beat selection, it does not keep your attention for an entire 27.5 minutes. However, as long as he is putting out songs in the name of quality music, people should be willing to lend him their ear.