Knifer - My Funk Volume

by Janelle Ramos
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)

"Knife" Sotelo is a badass emcee in the Philippines by way of Los Angeles, and I met him back in June at the Aztlan Underground concert. I was hanging out by myself, as it usually is when I go to concerts, when this guy and his sister started talking to me.

I go to a fair amount of shows solo, and it’s not very often that other boys actually talk to me. Normally I just get hit on by weirdos, who I then see out at other concerts, and don’t remember me so they try to mack on me again. True story.

Anyway, I mentioned that I have a blog, he mentioned that he raps, we both love Eazy-E, and that was that. It wasn’t until a few months that I actually listened to the CD he gave me, and when I did, I was trippin' out. OMG! This foo has complex raps! is what I thought to myself.

Since then, Knifer has released My Funk Volume, his third mixtape, and like the CD that he gave me months ago, it's full of dope, aggressive rhymes. The “Taxin For Beats” track is actually a mix of entries for a couple of Funk Volume contests he was in, and were recorded earlier prior to the the other tracks, but don’t let that deter you, because homeboy gets it in on every track found on My Funk Volume.

The Independent Living remix entitled "My Funk Volume” is probably my favorite cut off the mixtape, as it immediately caught my attention. Not only does he bring back that West Coast blueprint, he is a rapper’s rapper, an artist with a motor-mouthed, double-time delivery and a dark history that he works into his unique brand of gangsta rap.

And that may be the problem for most people that hear the tape. Yes, Knife drops some quotable lines and proves that he can still make music, but it doesn’t sound too different from music he’s done in the past.

If you rock with Knife, this will reinforce your support, but if you’re wanting that special “something” like we got when we first heard Morals & Dogma (or for some, his unreleased/scrapped and heavily bootlegged Universal LP Money Sex Power), then maybe that’s coming in December when he supposedly drops his album. For now, it’s a great statement to listeners and artists alike that Knife's not playing when it comes to music. Let’s just hope My Funk Volume isn’t the last highlight he provides.

Throughout the whole mixtape, I realized how much I like his flow. While his songs aren’t the happiest, or most positive, his delivery kept me interested. It’s kind of along the lines of rappity rap, or really fast, but it isn’t too fast or obnoxious, and I can still follow along.

But, it ain't that slow, either, and holds my attention because part of the reason that Knife's music appeals to me is that he seems really cool, like I kind of wish that I could spit like him, with a thug life mentality, and all that good life stuff. I won’t lie when I say I’m pretty cool (and humble for that matter…ha), but he seems like someone that the cool people can look up to. Plus, I’d hate to make him mad.

Overall, though, Knifer is an exciting rapper to watch. I don’t feel stupid after listening to his music, whereas I’m pretty sure “Stupid Hoe” causes me to lose IQ points. His unfiltered, rhyme schemes are also refreshing, kind of like Zig Zag of the NB Ridaz, and it might just be okay if he doesn’t end up on the radio, given that it sounds like he hates mainstream as much as I do.

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.