Hip-hop production is no longer unheard of here in the hinterlands, but Koshir's debut on Missoula-based Wapikiya Records still caught me by surprise. In a college town between Portland and Minneapolis, don't blame me for expecting some poetry slam graduate's lefty underground rap. What we have here is bona fide macho-juvenile gangsta rap. And it's not bad, if you can get past the amateurish skits and dumb boy humor. I'd be more critical (and believe me, I'm critical) of the gratuitous homophobia and the weird gynophobia if the rhymes were weak or the delivery sloppy, but that's not the case.
The techno-infused "Reverse in Time," with guest vocals by Katie Henson on auto tune, wouldn't be out of place on pop radio. On "Twister," the beat is brilliant with its gypsy violin, but I must protest about the auto tune at this point: I thought we were no longer T-Paynin' it, people. "Umpa Lumpa" is both catchy and funny, and "Guaranteed Mil" is the kind of song I can't get enough of in the club—it comes on hard and means business. On the other hand, the hardcore posing on "Get Money" leaves me stifling a yawn, and the gross-out humor on "No Bueno" gets old fast.