Music Reviews

Kool Keith

Spankmaster

Overcore

Even when just simply going through the motions, the idiosyncratic and unbearably prolific Kool Keith still sounds more progressive and engaging than most of his hip-hop cohorts. Critics and backpackers both anxiously await each Kool Keith record (not an especially long wait, mind you, since they seem to come with the changing seasons), waiting for the second coming of 1996’s sonically visionary and lyrically warped Dr. Octagon release, or even the adventurous sci-funk of 1999’s Black Elvis/Lost in Space. But with Spankmaster, Keith pretty much re-released 2000’s Matthew. And considering Spankmaster’s trademark irregular lyrical insanity and mind-bendingly contorted production, that’s just fine.

Like Matthew and 1999’s Dr. Dooom record, the record is wrapped around Keith’s unorthodox beat construction, negligent synth grooves, and errant keyboard lines that defy logic. But Spankmaster sets itself apart into heavier and funkier territory by being stuttery, bloopy, double-timed, and Esham-assisted. Lyrically, Keith has honed his favorite subjects into fine-point musical darts, whether it be sex (the freakishly obscene and high-velocity “Girls Would U Fuck Tonight”), ire for the industry (the Funkmaster Flex-bashing “Jealous”), or obsessions with fucked-up-shit that rappers generally don’t get obsessed with (“Mack Trucks”).

So what if that means it’s standard Keith fare? Just shut up and take your spanking like a man. Thank you sir, may I have another?

Overcore Records, 47551 Iroquois Court, Novi, MI 48374; http://www.overcore.com


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