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Verbal Contact and J-Status

Marked Territory (LokJaw Music Group)

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Kansas City-area rap, in most instances, can be lumped into two categories: Bay Area-influenced gangsta music or East Coast-inspired lyricism. KC crew Verbal Contact adds a third element to the fold with the release of Marked Territory, an eight-song EP featuring a Midwest (Chicago, St. Louis) vibe centering on melodic hooks, banging beats and stripped-down, simple lyrics aimed at getting the crowd moving and the ladies panting. The disc begins with the street-cluttered "Killa Kane" and proceeds with the slow-it-down-for-the-ladies cuts "Tired of Being Alone," featuring Chavonna & J-Status, and "Feenin,'" featuring Stan Man. VC raises the tempo and the temperature on "Naughty Girls," asking Where dem naughty, naughty girls at?/Come on, little mommy/Put it down on the floor/Where dem naughty, naughty girls at?/Don't trip/Don't trip. Everybody is forced to get up out of their chairs and get crump on "Touched Up," and "VC Anthem" encourages listeners to get bucked. "We Them Thugs" (featuring J-Status) and "A Sinner's Cry" round out the disc, which shows Verbal Contact's ability to adapt and adjust as it sets its sights on nationwide contact.

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