Kaos is the 2001 album from D&B-turned-hip-hop guru Adam F. Mr F himself is not a rapper, rather a producer, and so this album represents a cross-section of his work with a fantastic variety of different artists. The album is fairly short in terms of actual tracks, since it bears only ten full tracks, but I've encountered shorter - and the quality of what is present is, in my opinion, phenomenal.
The tag-line for the album is "The Anti-Acoustic Warfare", and the theme for all the artwork is a future urban landscape within a plastic bubble. The whole thing oozes rendered style, and is presented as if it were an experience, not merely an album. There is also a cartoon-style centrefold depicting all the rappers from the album destroying this new city, and Adam F looking rather out of place. Nevertheless, it makes a good impression for the album before you even listen.
But listen you must, for that is the key note of the whole package. The Intro sets the scene for this revolutionary future, a unique idea in itself, and then the profanity is underway. The proper tracks begin with the incredible single with Redman, Smash Sumthin - this is true rap, slickly produced; a masterclass for both concerned. This is followed by the similarly incredible but musically unique single Stand Clear with M.O.P., and the slow instrumental build up before the dramatic vocal entrance is pure production perfection.
From there on out, the quality of the tracks cannot keep up with such standards, but there are still several that deserve to become singles: Where's My Niggas with Lil' Mo already has, and Time 4 Da True with De La Soul and DV ought to. The track Greatest of All Time, with LL Cool J, is exactly the self-congratulatory obsessiveness the title suggests, but lyrically LL has clearly retained the skill of his youth.
The album winds down to a gradual conclusion, and it's refreshing to hear some hip-hop with real insight into society, and it should come as no surprise that the collaboration with the ever-astute Pharaohe Monch provides it. The "double outro" is suitably atmospheric, and provides an ending in such a serious tone that it might almost be called prophetic. Despite this arguable over-seriousness, the album leaves an aftertaste of originality and the whole thing feels progressive. An achievement indeed for Adam F's first foray into hip-hop production.
1. Kaos Main Title 1:12, with Royal Symphonia
2. Smash Sumthin 3:28, with Redman
3. Stand Clear 3:59, with M.O.P.
4. Listen Here 5:27, with Capone-N-Noreaga
5. Where's My Niggas 3:45, with Lil' Mo
6. Greatest of All Time 4:05, with LL Cool J
7. News Flash 1:36, Huggy Bear reporting
8. Dirty Harry's Revenge 3:13, with Beenie Man and Siamese
9. Time 4 Da True 4:14, with Dave & Pos from De La Soul and DV Alias Khryst
10. Karma (Comes Back Around) 5:24, with Guru and Carl Thomas
11. End of Days Interregnum 0:56
12. Last Dayz 3:09, with Pharoahe Monch
13. Time Is Up Outro 0:43
14. Trans Mission 0:22