Keak Da Sneak is an acquired taste. For Bay Area residents and others who have ghostridden their way through The Yay’s hyphy culture, he’s a well known entertainer who has slang for days and enough bounce to make a lowrider jealous. For others, Keak is simply that odd voice featured on E-40‘s “Tell Me When To Go.” Take one listen to his newest album, Deified, and you’ll see exactly what Keak‘s all about.
His style is very different from what you may expect from an emcee. His voice is tremendously hard to get used to as it sounds like a raspy whisper from an angry man. But, it’s what makes Keak so unique and it’s what has his name in circles discussing the Hyphy movement’s potency. He’s not only a guest on an E-40 hit; he’s also a hometown hero who is seen as a near legendary underrated lyricist who gets Bay love like the Oakland Raiders for making fans “go stupid” over his music. Still, many often complain that his style and his voice are just too awful to get used to. Nevertheless, the “King of the Super Duper Hyphy Movement” is back and he’s ready to deliver that good ol’ Sneak-ness.
Guests overflow the album as Prodigy, Alchemist, Paul Wall, Chingo Bling and Daz Dillinger join in on the hyphy train. Bay acts also get in on the fun as Mistah FAB and Bay representatives and legends – Too Short and E-40 – drop in for their guest spots. Even more guests drop in like Messy, Chops, Lil Retro and Bra Hef. All lend their voices to incredibly bangin’ bass and heavy hitting beats. The instrumentation is classic hyphy with a little variation (“Nothing Without You”) to keep things interesting.
As can be expected, Deified is drenched in Hyphy steez and it makes you put on that thizz face from the jump. “All I Know,” “That Go,” “Go Dumb Go Stupid,” “Who Started It” and “Oakland” provide healthy examples of the subculture. “Super Hyphy,” “Hard Tops & Drops,” “Blurpt” and “Playa Like Me” give you more doses if you’re up for extra hyphy kick.
However, after the ghostriding is done, there is little else to do. For an album with twenty three tracks, that makes for some repetitive cuts. “Ass Chauffer,” “Stock With Game” and “I Get It” In could have easily been left off the album. Overall, the LP just runs on a bit too long.
Keak‘s unique voice grabs you from the jump but it’s a deterrent for too many listeners who tend to blow him off at first listen. Long time fans may groan at the notion of people dismissing his talent but the reality is that Bay slang is already hard to comprehend and his whispering flow just makes it a lot harder to take in. The bottom line is that Hyphy lovers can rejoice but those who aren’t fond of the sub culture will not see him as a deity. While some will go dumb over this, others will simply view it as dumb.