January 14, 2008

Dissertation-ready rap [Kool Keith]

Kool Keith as Black Elvis

In high school we had an assignment to analyze a song from pop culture using the literary terms such as irony, synecdoche and so on. I've often thought it would be possible to break down Kool Keith's rhymes in a similar way, except using an even more high-falutin, academic vocabulary: "well, you see, what Keith is actually looking for in 'Mommy' is to reconstruct his fragmented postmodern identity." Yeah right!! Those thoughts, if you have them, are for thinking not saying. Although it might be possible to write a coherent essay on why Kool Keith is the Andre Breton of rap, that would be the most laughable endeavor imaginable, both from the perspective of the music and academic worlds.

Kool Keith is generally thought of as an insane person, but his talent is undeniable. He's lasted so long by adopting a lot of different styles over the years. He has no respect for so-called hard rappers: "You're basically a hamster. You might as well get a Habitrail, spin on your wheel." (For full effect, it helps to read this in his voice) I like his material from the early 90's the best, partially because that's when he was dropping the most number of references to somewhat obscure baseball players like Dave Winfield, Ray Fosse and Charlie Hough. When can I hear my Walt Weiss rap?

Kool Keith - Mommy [The Cenobites LP w/ Godfather Don, 1993]

Ultramagnetic MC's - Checkin My Style [The Four Horsemen LP, 1993]


Miguel said...


majormike said...

Dan!!! where is your top 10 for 2007? I am curious to see what you liked most.

mcvmcv said...

as i said in my top concerts post, i don't really have a top 10. modeselektor was my favorite album of last year, akron/family was #2, after that i liked !!!, the field, and saoifhasg;dsfg