Despite Konexion only being Bumpy’s third official release, he has been putting it down since the mid 80’s. Along the way he has rolled with Eric B & Rakim, KRS One & BDP, Flavor Unit, until he finally landed with Gang Starr. His mean mug, bald head and jacked up, tattooed, 265 pound frame says the same thing as his reputation – don’t fuck with Foxxx. Likely hip-hop’s most feared emcee, Foxxx speaks his mind freely, and never hears a peep from other rappers. Just ask supposed hardcore thugs like Memphis Bleek and Nore.

While Foxxx may spit hardcore rhymes packed with threats of violence, he is an intelligent and articulate man and that still comes across in his records. Bumpy starts the album with “Drop A Jewel,” rocking that slow flow he experimented with on his last album. He flows similarly on the nice “Poetry,” and continues to flip it various times on the album. He proves on the Primo-banger “Lazy” that he can’t dismantle just about anything. “Paine” is another dope connection with Primo and Foxxx gets loose with vintage rhymes like “if niggaz try and disrespect my melody/I’m gunnin’ for the felony.” His flow on the rock-flavored “Swazzee” is pretty mean too, although, not as mean as his rhymes.

Bumpy doesn’t need rhymes like “I pistol whip you on the ball court/show you mad handle” to prove he’s hard. Who else could give their 11 year old daughter a song (“Angel”), and not get dissed for it? Shorty rips it nicer than half these females anyway. From “Tell Me,” Freddie sums up his rep in the industry pretty well, “they say Bumpy’s too hardcore and if you sign’em/and take a dime from his paycheck or undermind’em/you see them arms that you stole with, you’ll never find’em/and the rest of your whole crew, he’ll chalky line’em.” The real jewels are dropped in the final two cuts though, “When Angels Sing” and “New Millennium.” The former is real standout lyrically (and sonically for that matter), “to my comrades of the white complexion/glad to have you down with the Bumpy Knuc’s Konexion/even though we look different in the mirror’s reflection/we can take this in a strong direction.”

Production wise, Konexion does not quite stand up to Industry Shakedown (especially with no Pete Rock). But as a whole, this album is not far behind and any Freddie Foxxx fan gets their required dosage of Bumpy on this one. Along with M.O.P., Foxxx brings some of hip-hop’s hardest rhymes over equally hard beats. I’m all for that Konexion.