Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Rockwell Knuckles 

You're Fucking Out, I'm Fucking In
http://www.smokingsection.uproxx.com

Taking its name from the "inspirational" audiotape autobiography narrated by Eastbound & Down's feckless Kenny Powers, You're Fucking Out, I'm Fucking In may be less confrontational than its title suggests. But the mix tape goes to great lengths to show Rockwell Knuckles' boundless versatility. His prime directive is spewing funny and often dizzying rhymes in his low, almost Stentorian voice that shows the barest hint of Missouri twang, and on a track like "Silly Human," it's easy to marvel at the verbal dexterity, rhythmic precision and old-school soul that merge on the breathless chorus. Knuckles shares a few verses with local rhymesayers Vandalyzm and Tef Poe (not to mention Theresa Payne's crucial contributions), but for the most part this collection shows that he can create a rich, complex world unto himself.

Knuckles uses a range of productions to push his surprisingly agile voice into different contexts. He comes out smooth and smoky on "Play Catch," while the clicky "Every Angle" features his most dancehall-like delivery and a flurry of swooping synthesizer runs. His genre-less approach comes to a glorious climax on the final track, "Natural Born Leader," as arena-rock guitar and organ riffs provide an appropriately grandiose backdrop for the tape's closing mission statement. Many rappers are given to overblown claims and over-the-top production, but as those guitars wail and a choir rises behind him, it's not hard to believe the hype. With an album as varied, challenging, confident and downright fun as You're Fucking Out, Rockwell Knuckles stands tall as St. Louis' most capable and adventurous hip-hop artist.

Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130. E-mail music @riverfronttimes.com for more information.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation