Kamachi is currently one of the greatest MCs that not enough people know about. He’s been dropping beautiful crafted verses on wax/and CD since the late 90s (with Jedi Mind Tricks, Army Of The Pharaohs, Maylay Sparks, DJ Revolution, etc), but has been mastering the skills significantly longer. He’s one part street poet, one part Egyptian mystic, and one part original B-Boy.
Clock Of Destiny reveals Kamachi’s growth as an artist and improved song-writing skills. His debut, Cult Status, was raw and grimy with award worthy multi-syllabic rhyming, where even the hooks were more complex then the average modern day verse. He followed with Concrete Gospel, which maintained his raw imagery but the delivery was more relaxed. The hooks were still heavy on content but less wordy, thus more accessible to the average listener. The Clock Of Destiny effectively combines the best of both worlds.
His level of lyricism flaunts a keen mastery of the English language. He has the gift for building a rhyme scheme for seemingly endless bars, matching syllables effortlessly with words that you’ve probably never heard rhymed previously. Plus, in true Philly fashion, he’s able to bend and twist pronunciations to enable words to rhyme at his will.
There’s a quote on “Crooked Angels” that touches greatly on the tone of the album: “They want that street sh**, say I’m too cerebral/ Take Illmatic mix it with some Beanie Sigel/ Islamic flag in the window of a Buick Regal.” He’s as hungry as ever, even as he reveals his career spanning challenge, starting with, “First demo tape in the trash, not a call back,” up to current stats, “My record’s in the red.”
The production is moody, mystic, dramatic, and done primarily by unfamiliar names, a few even racking up their first production credits here. The most recognizable names are Snowgoons (“2nd Lecture”) and Dev Rocka (“True And Living”), contributing one of the albums stand-out beats and songs. Half of the album is produced thru joint efforts from Vherbal & Anno Domini, who do a nice job of setting the albums feel. The remainder of the production is handled by Csick (1), Zbeats (2), and Tekneek (1).
The song that I immediately gravitated to is “Kamalah,” before the track hits the two second mark, the lyrical assault has already begun and remains in full throttle for three verses and adjoining choruses. This is the epitome of his lyrical ability, particularly as the third verse opens with; “I am terror, the crooked angel stand nearer/ Kamachi, raps’ Yeshua ben Pandira/ you take a bell from the glam era/ blond Mohawk, skinny jeans, vogue-ing in your man mirror/ bodies in the holy land, you can be a sand sharer/ I am a mercenary, understand the plan clearer/ Tool bearer, old head, mystical jewel wearer…”
The album is filled with many jewels that I wish the youth of today were getting fed to their mental. However, he’s not beating you in the head, but rather outlining struggles then countering with solutions, delivered rugged enough to retain street credibility and cerebral enough to please the intellect. The songs that best capture this are “Steel Umbrella,” “Little African Girl” and “True and Living.” “Little African Girl” is the continued saga from “Little African Boy” (off Concrete Gospel). The track is filled with powerful messages like; “The world’s trying to strip your soul/ I’ll kill a Ni**a trying to put my daughter on a stripper pole.”
The title track outlines some of his history- the triumphs, the set backs and the continued mission. The chorus is so powerful; to hear him tackle his lack of album sales with such conviction and confidence: “I wonder what people expect to see/ Real Hip Hop, do it till it’s the death of me/ It’s not my time on the Clock Of Destiny/ As long as I’m real then I did it successfully.”
Overall, the album is solid start to finish. Certainly the lyrics are the high point, but the beats provide proper assistance for the most part. The lack of arrangement on “11:59” makes the track get a bit monotonous. “Prince Hall,” in many ways, is one of the more interesting and original sounding productions, but at certain points the triggered sampling gets a little too 1986 Casio SK-5 for my liking.
Bonus Lyrics-“The Clock Of Destiny” (3rd Verse):
“I see a big future in music, hope I got the right mirror/ Came up in the Nike era, trying to be a mic terror/ “Follow The Leader” dropped, album was a light-bearer/ Studied the game, got the slang and my sight clearer/ Poster of MC Lyte, I used to write near her/ Ponder my musical genre, it’s quite raer,/ So I fall back, look at the mall rat/ Album ain’t sell, people know that I’m all that/ Was once told my career would suffer a curse by a old ghost while he was smoking dust in a hearse/ Been around the globe a couple times crushing a verse/ Fairly unknown, people still in love with the worse/ Back to trance, small ass rap advance/ They wanna see lil sambo tap and dance/ I’m like Toussaint teaming up with blacks in France/ Kamachi, still in that classic stance…straight b-boy.”
Written by Kevin Beacham2nd Lecture: