Marcel Diallo's Black New World, (836 Pine St.), Oakland
Kirby Dominant performs on Saturday, Nov.1, 9 p.m. (510) 451-4661; www.blacknewworld.com
Local rapper Kirby Dominant celebrates his 10th anniversary of releasing records with the new EP Prostitute. The disc showcases Kirby's "New Wave Thug" approach to hip-hop, which mixes synth-heavy grooves and '80s pop sensibilities with lyrics that get serious about the Bay Area street game and offer humorous twists on sexual innuendos.
Prostitute kicks off with "Piggy Back Pimpin'," Kirby's dis to those trying to steal his style and "mannerisms." He berates lesser MCs who cop his moves with lines like: "You're not replacing me/You're just tracing me out, taking my route/And putting your feet in it." "Check in Wit' Me," Kirby's ode to early-to-mid-'90s-era "styling" by groups like Freestyle Fellowship, is another heater, as he spits rapid-fire flows over elastic rhythms. Kirby twists clever rhyme patterns with lines like, "It's ill though/The info I can distill so/You drink it down without the harmful chemicals." The album takes an interesting turn with the title track. Its pulsing drums and swirling keyboards pound out at a quick tempo, which Kirby offsets with a deadpan, almost spoken delivery. The track sounds like a cracked-out update of electro anthem "I Need Freak" by Sexual Harassment.
The EP's sole misstep comes with "Movies," which features the rapper crooning over mellower fare, and his vocal chops fall short. But the song is a minor bump on an otherwise banging look into Kirby's musical worldview.