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James Christos

Guerilla Movement: Fire and Brimstone (Equator Recordings)

James Christos isn't new to the KC hip-hop scene, but his second full-length ought to give him some well-deserved recognition. The producer and rapper's Bay Area upbringing shines through with synth-laden backdrops and bone-shattering bass lines designed to run woofers ragged. But the beats merely garnish Christos' flavor on the microphone. Whether his rhyme schemes are laid-back and comical ("Gotta Few Dollarz") or of the rough-and-tumble variety ("Let the Band Play On," "Fire and Brimstone"), heads are sure to nod. Still, as with most street rappers repping the Bay Area sound, his hooks come off a bit corny. I'm a guerrilla soldier/I'm a guerrilla soldier/Beating up your block until all of the beef is over. Please, Christos, don't hurt 'em. — Andy Vihstadt

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