Kno Speaks On New CunninLynguists Album

posted March 20, 2009 07:27:00 PM CDT | 7 comments

There are only 72 hours left for fans of soulful southern Hip Hop to support one of the genres most impressive acts. As of next Monday (March 23rd), advance sales of the Kentucky/Georgia trio CunninLynguists latest offering, Strange Journey Volume One, will stop being offered as the group prepares to depart for a European tour beginning April 2nd.

Hours before the threesome will appear at The Dame in Lexington, Kentucky to celebrate (alongside Killer Mike and others) the advance release of SJV1, HipHopDX spoke with one-third of CL, producer Kno, about his groups new album, as he drove from his Atlanta home (with Khujo Goodie riding shotgun) to attend tonights record release party/performance.

I hate to call it a mixtape that term has been cheapened, said Kno of Strange Journey. And its all original stuff Were not rappin over This Is Why Im Hot two years later. Its not that I dont even really pitch to people that dont wanna listen to our music [why they should buy it], cause theyre gonna download it for free anyway. So I fully invite them to download it for free. Anybody who wants to hear it, I want them to download it. Its all good. But as far as [a] sales pitch [for] the people who really wanna support CunninLynguists monetarily and the people who enjoy our music, its mad cheap and I stand by everything thats on it. Its real good music And I think people when theyre broke, and theyre worried about their job, they need good music to pick em up.

Recession-priced at $12 (which includes shipping costs), those that place their advance order by Monday [click here] will receive for their dozen dollars an autographed copy of SJV1, bonus album instrumentals, and have all in hand several weeks before the official retail release of the CD on May 26th.

Snippets of the album can now be heard [click here]. Produced entirely by Kno, Strange Journey is propelled by the discs first single, the hilarious sticky icky anthem, Never Come Down (The Brownie Song), which is driven by a psychedelic Little Wing sample.

Kno co-directed the songs video [click to watch], and appears in said clip sporting a mullet and Guns N Roses t-shirt.

I was going for that, said Kno when jokingly reminded that the proper presentation of a good ole country boy is with mullet and accompanying AC/DC t-shirt, but the high-end boutique that I bought the shirt at just didnt happen to have it in stock, so I went with the GNR Looking at the video now, sometimes I look at that part and Im like, I kinda look like my dad.

Aforementioned Dungeon Family alums Killer Mike and Khujo Goodie appear on another noteworthy track from SJV1, for the remix of Georgia [click to listen] from CLs last full-length release, 2007s Dirty Acres [click to read].

In a recent YouTube clip documenting the songs recording [click to watch], Killer Mike notes that he hasnt heard this kind of soulful Hip Hop since DF in their heyday.

Obviously I take it like the utmost compliment that it is, Kno replied when asked about Mikes statement. I dont really compare our music necessarily to other peoples - we just kinda do what we do, and how the music comes out is how it comes out A lot of music, Hip Hop music and [music in general], has kinda lost its soul... I might agree with [Mikes] statement. I guess I didnt really think about it too much before he said it, but after hearing it its a compliment but at the same time its kinda sad.

Two more retooled versions (with new beats and/or new verses) of Dirty tracks, Dance For Me and KKKY, appear on SJV1, the latter of which now sports cameos from fellow Bluegrass state natives Skinny DeVille and Fishscales of Nappy Roots.

Additional appearances on the album come from the groups QN5 fam (Tonedeff, Substantial, PackFM), as well as Slug of Atmosphere, who surfaces for the lament on being away from home during long tour trips, Dont Leave (When Winter Comes) [click to listen].

Former group member Mr. SOS is also back in the CL mix for Strange Journey.

He recorded a solo track, Kno noted. This track [Die For You] is entirely him, three verses. I mean, we never really stopped working with SOS. Its just a matter of him getting material out. He has a lot of stuff just kinda sitting on the shelf waiting to be released.

Even with SOS appearance on SJV1, Kno explained to HipHopDX that CunninLynguists will officially remain a trio for the time being.

Two-thirds of the group, Deacon The Villain and Kno, will also continue working together outside of CL, tag-teaming under the banner A Piece Of Strange for mainstream/major-label artist productions the duo create.

Hip Hop creations for an assortment of artists, including the aforementioned Killer Mike (who Kno revealed is currently in possession of 10-12 Kno/APOS beats), and even dance tracks with Auto-Tuned choruses have been cranked out for industry consumption by Deac and Kno of late.

That actually at the time was supposed to be for J. Lo, Kno explained of the aforementioned Auto-Tune creation that was posted up to YouTube last summer [click to watch]. But whoever ends up cutting a check for it is where it ends up. I cant really foresee us ever using the Auto-Tune on one of our songs, unless we could find like an interesting way to do it because its kinda played out at this point [Auto-Tune] is for people who cant sing as well, [but] if youre shopping hooks or youre trying to write songs its got the appeal. So as far as shopping music, well plug it in from time to time.

Although their outside-the-group production plate is apparently always full, Kno and Deacon continue to keep the focus, along with Natti, on CunninLynguists music. The trio are already planning to unleash the second installment of Strange Journey in September to coincide with the groups North American tour.

A grimier counterpart to its predecessor, Strange Journey Volume Two assembles an assortment of underground Hip Hop luminaries, including Sean Price and Poison Pen (who appear on the concept record about how no matter your locale you can get attacked and jacked, Streets), J-Zone, Bronze Nazareth, Guilty Simpson, and many more.

And after the two volumes of Strange Journey have reached the satisfied masses, CL will unveil two more offerings for fans of that southern fried soulness.

Were working on an EP, and were working on a new studio album, Kno revealed of the groups planned 2010 releases. We dont have a title [for either] yet. But both of the records are concept records, and they kinda run into each otherWe never stop working. This is a recession, [and] youre gonna get fired if you stop.

Strange Journey Volume One is due May 26 from Bad Taste Records.

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