Hopsin took a lot of time to work on this album, with its release coming three years after the critically acclaimed Raw. Right from the first song here he goes in explaining where he’s been, and how people have been reacting to his moves over the past couple years (signing Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton to his label, putting their albums ahead of his own, and continuing his “Ill Mind Of Hopsin” Youtube series). With the “Ill Mind of Hopsin” series, he’s been focused on sending a positive message through his music, Part 6 of the series actually being renamed “Old Friend” and making it onto the actual album, but he doesn’t overdo it on the album as he gives us a good balance between all the styles he’s adopted over the years.
He’s back with those wild battle raps that got him famous in the first place, but he also gives us some deep, emotional tracks to make this a complete sounding album. One thing that can be hit or miss is the hooks on this album; Hopsin does all types of singing on his hooks and while some of them sound good, others can get annoying. Even when the hooks don’t hit though, Hop wins with pure relatability as he goes into specific situations he’s had to deal with that sound familiar to me or people I know. Some of the things he raps about aren’t relatable to me at all, but I still respect the level of detail in his lyrics. Overall I find we have a similar train of thought, as some of the ideas and concepts in these songs are similar to songs I’ve written myself, although with a slightly different execution.
I think with Knock Madness, Hopsin has improved on Raw on all levels. His rhymes have always been dope, but his flow has gotten better, his relatability has improved, and he’s become a better songwriter with deeper lyrics. Some songs won’t connect with people if they can’t appreciate the situation he’s rapping about, but he gives a wide range of topics that are bound to hit home for certain groups of people (with topics like jealous girlfriends, friends borrowing money, friends getting hooked on drugs, etc). Overall it’s a well balanced album with a little something for everyone.
My Grade (based on how well I connected with it, no disrespect if your experience was different): A-
Come back to my blog tomorrow to see which album or mixtape came in at #10 on the countdown!