Considering Chrono Trigger is considered in many circles to be the best JRPG, it’s no surprise that the nerdcore scene has made an album inspired by Square Enix’s 1995 time traveling adventure. Producer K-Murdok provides the instrumentals on Hero Muzik Vol. II while various emcees round out the lyrics which include Mega Ran, Richie Branson, Sammus and more.
Each track on this album uses a sample from the most iconic songs from Chrono Trigger’s soundtrack and K-Murdock does a serviceable job turning these classics into new songs. The arrangements aren’t always as straightforward as heard on “Big Brains” for example. Lucca’s Theme was slowed down and re-purposed that you would have to listen carefully to recognize it.
Speaking of Lucca, Sammus provides the rhymes on this track focusing on the inventor’s backstory. Her flow is serviceable on the verses, but like many Sammus songs, the hook falls flat primarily because of Sammus’s inflection of voice on those hooks. As far as the emcees in general, Mega Ran, Last BeNeVoLeNcE, SkyBlew and Tribe One bring about the best in flow and voice. Tribe One’s track, “A Change of Scenery,” in particular is interesting. Instead of talking about a specific character or scene from Chrono Trigger like the other rappers, Tribe One talks about his first experience playing the game in which he played it so much in his first year in college that he almost failed. While I never had an experience like that myself, I did avoid playing LittleBigPlanet in college in fear of the same thing happening to me.
Overall, K-Murdock’s Hero Muzik Vol. II is a serviceable tribute album to Chrono Trigger. While I don’t like every track from the game, the few with the artists mentioned above I will keep in my library rotation. Give it at least one listen.