The West Coast truly revolves around Dr. Dre's world. After introducing a whole new generation of emcees on "The Chronic", Andre Young once again accomplished the same feat with his sequel "The Chronic 2001". Knocturnal was one of those lucky enough to get his start on "The Chronic 2001", but it wasn't until the Dr. Dre collabo of "Bad Intentions" that the Hip Hop world started to take notice of the Cali emcee. Since then, Knocturnal built up some modest hype for his debut album "Knocs Landin". However, due to record company politics and bootlegging, the album was unfortunately scrapped. After months since his intended release date, and after all the hype has boiled down, Knoc quietly released his debut album, only this time in EP fashion.
Knoc's debut EP is a solid effort, but really does nothing to make Knocturnal stand out as an emcee. His erratic, on and off flow is probably the main cause for his downfall, as Knoc rarely flows according to the production. At times it seems as if Knoc is talking rather than flowing to the beat. Lyrically Knoc is saying much also. His topics included the same tired old tales of bitches, blunts, gangbangin, etc. But what Knoc lacks in lyricism he makes up with his great charisma. While Knocturnal may not be the best emcee, he certainly has a knack for keeping a track hype and entertaining. With his unique voice and charisma, the listener can really get attached listening to Knoc as he comes off as anything but your "average" emcee.
But what is still unknown is whether Knocturnal can hold an entire track down by himself. Most of his debut album is consumed with numerous guest appearances like the lead single "Knoc" featuring Dr. Dre & Missy, "St8 West Coast Remix" featuring Warren G, Nate Dogg, Xzibit & Shade Sheist", and "Let's All Roll" featuring Butch Cassidy, Jayo Felony & Slip Capone. The lead single "Knoc" is a nice catchy track that has gained Knocturnal some commercial appeal, as well as some major video play. The Dr. Dre production is still on the same level as everything Dre has put out lately, disappointing. Nevertheless, the track accomplishes what its set out to do. "Str8 West Coast Remix" is another Dr. Dre produced track, this time Dre redeems himself (sort of). Each emcee puts forth a pretty solid performance and could definitely be another West Coast anthem if marketed right (which I doubt).
The rest of the album is either hit or miss as tracks such as "L.A. Night-N-Day" and "Cash Sniffin Noses" are just your average type tracks. "Let's All Roll" featuring Butch Cassidy, Jayo Felony & Slip Capone is a sure fire West Coast banger as the production definitely carries each emcee. However, the biggest disappointment featured on the album is the Kanye West produced "Muzik". Kanye West is definitely the hottest producer out right now as anything the man touches turns to gold. However, "Muzik" definitely falls in the category of a throw away beat, as the production is one of Kayne's worst. However, the production isn't even the tracks main cause for downfall, as Knocturnal truly puts forth a horrendous effort on the mic. It is very clear from the start that Knoc tried to make this track a huge hit, but fell flat on his face while doing so. Which some truly simplistic lyricism, "Muzik" is almost to the point of unbearable. Just from looking at the lyrics you can tell the track is destined for failure. "My music, my life, my heart, my soul. My music, my everything, I give my all. My wife, my daughter, my love, my dream. My mother, my father, my brother, my team. My camp, my squad, my house, my car. My boat, my shoes, my pants, my shirt My coke, my sugar, my cream, my butter. My toast, my all, my queen, my folks".
After listening to Knocturnal's debut EP you are still not sure if he can hold down an entire album by himself. Will Knoc have to gather a huge assortment of guest appearances, just to cover up the fact that he is unable to put out quality songs by himself? Or will Knoc step up his lyrical game and show the critics he is much more than meets the eye? We still cannot answer these questions just yet as Knoc is just getting started and this is only a 6 track EP, and judging Knoc by this alone would be unfair. If Knocturnal can get some spectacular production from some of the West's finest (Dr. Dre, Fred Wreck, Battlecat, Meech Wells, etc.), and come up with tracks with a little more flavor and creativity, than Knocturnal should see his stock rise. The talent is their, its just not refined yet. Only time will tell if Knoc can step up and become one of the West's biggest stars.