"El Kilo" is het derde album van de Cubaanse hip-hop groep Orishas uit 2005, waarop een aantal klassiekers
Since its 1999 breakthrough, the Cuban rap trio Orishas has been hailed as one of Latin hip-hop`s true saviors. But the group`s intoxicating third album, El Kilo, is about more than DJ scratches and looped samples. In fact, that`s not at all what it`s about. The group eschews studio tricks for live instrumentation on El Kilo, and it makes for a heady, well-rounded effort. El Kilo crackles with passion and urgency from beginning to end, and the album transforms Orishas into a wholly unclassifiable, strikingly original music machine. Blaring horns highlight album opener "Naci Orishas," and the pensive title track rides a simmering, soulful groove. Rappers Yotuel and Ruzzo play wonderfully off each other, and vocalist Roldan anchors every song with his playful vibe. A kitchen sink mix of soul, reggae, bossa nova and salsa inform Orishas` sound. There`s even an appearance by Cuban rapper Pitbull on the raucous closing track, "Quien Te Dijo." The album`s lyrical and musical poetry, however, belongs wholly to Cuba`s three hip-hop heroes.
With their third album, El Kilo, Orishas seem to have matured, and added an Old World depth (they live in France) to their Cuban roots and a pop sheen to the hip-hop that originally propelled them into the limelight. There`s far more thought to the arrangements here, such as the guitar opening on "Reine de la Calle" or the mariachi horns of "Elegante." There`s a fusion of melody and rap here that sets this album apart, moving easily from the gorgeous, almost perfect pop of the title cut to rapid-fire wordplay that switches between Spanish and English with remarkable fluidity. There`s very little machismo on the disc, even on a track like "Naci Orishas," which relates the story of their beginning. Instead, there`s a reflective, even introspective, mood to the disc. Far more than on their previous two efforts, Orishas have fully come into their own here, bringing the disparate parts of the sound together in a way that seems completely natural.