thu 30/05/2024

CD: Kool Keith - KEITH | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kool Keith - KEITH

CD: Kool Keith - KEITH

Hip hop elder statesman shows he isn’t ready for retirement yet

KEITH: plenty to stand out from the crowd

Keith Thornton is a big deal in the hip hop community, having forged a 35-year career with the likes of the Ultramagnetic MCs and under pseudonyms like Dr Octagon and Kool Keith. To many, however, he is primarily the voice of the incendiary sample that drove the Prodigy’s magnificent “Smack My Bitch Up” single.

Anyone still doubting Thornton’s position in the hip hop pantheon are treated to Kool Keith emphatically staking his claim throughout KEITH. A lyrical and beat collage that takes in social reportage on the menacing “95 South”, anti-materialism on “Word Life” and racism, it also has a good deal of bragging about his prowess on the mic.

Kool Keith similarly has plenty to say about his skills with the ladies on the likes of “Plush Mink” and “Open and Wet”. Rapping about skulking around the aisles at “Foot Looker” to leer at the women who work there when you’re 55 years old, however, is never going to be a good look. That said, his age isn’t anything Keith feels any need to disguise on KEITH, with lyrical references to Richard Nixon and Elvis, and a collaboration with fellow rap veteran, Cypress Hill’s B-Real. Indeed, his rapping on the more political “Makem Crazy” and “Slave Owner” isn’t delivered with the uncompromising force of Public Enemy’s Chuck B but is more framed as an elder passing on accumulated knowledge. Still, coming on like MC Bernie Sanders on Viagra is an interesting concept.

Unsurprisingly, KEITH also features a few collaborations with other rappers, but Kool Keith’s jam with B-Real is one that is likely to raise interest. Unfortunately, “Zero Fux” isn’t one of B-Real’s classic raps, but sees him jumping from weed to sex, nihilism and generally chanting “We give zero fux”. Nevertheless, there is plenty else about KEITH that stands out from the hip hop crowd.

Coming on like MC Bernie Sanders on Viagra is an interesting concept


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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