Sticky Fingaz : Black Trash: The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones

Ex-Onyx man's fictitious debut

It had to happen. The frustrated actor/movie director within many a rapper couldn’t be suppressed for much longer. Eventually, someone was going to come up with a grandiose, operatic, information-overload spectacle of a concept LP. And that’s precisely what the former Onyx frontman Sticky Fingaz has done.

Distressed by the lack of opportunity afforded ghetto youth, and increasingly restricted by hip-hop’s sometimes limited keep-it-real palette, he’s gone for broke, adopted the alter ego of Kirk Jones, and exercised his twisted imagination to full extent.

‘Black Trash…’ nominally tells the tale of an ex-convict’s fight for survival in an unspecified devastated urban American environment, but is actually a conduit for Sticky Fingaz’s deep meditations on the poverty trap, dysfunctional relationships, bonding between criminals, existential and spiritual questions, and much more.

With a starry backing cast that includes Raekwon (on ‘Money Talks’, written from the point of view of a dollar bill), Redman, Canibus and Rah Digga (‘State Vs Kirk Jones’), and even Hollywood actor Omar Epps as Kirk’s conscience, the skits and songs combine for a full-blown reality experience. As well as expensively tailored production that often retains grimy beats amid Sticky’s trademark howls, there’s the dark sense of humour that gifts the Eminem-featuring ‘What If I Was White’ and the ridiculous version of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ with qualities other than calculated rudeness. Both the stark situations of ‘Ghetto’ and the anthemic brawl that is ‘Get It Up’ also serve as confirmation that, despite appearances, Fingaz has hardly forgotten where he came from. All of which all adds up to magic realism, hip-hop style.

Dele Fadele