Wednesday, August 11, 1999

Weird Science

Posted By on Wed, Aug 11, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Who in hip hop has earned the right to be awkward more than Kool Keith? Who is freakier than Dr. Octagon? Who deserves more bragging rights than Poppa Large, Big Shot on the East Coast? Who can turn an obtuse track into something strangely creative better than Black Elvis?

Ladies and gentlemen, hip hop’s most schizophrenic man has returned. This is Kool Keith, perpetrator of all the aforementioned aliases. This time, he’s in the form of a connoisseur of fine porn morphing into a space-age, rhyme-slingin’, African-American variation of Graceland’s finest. Black Elvis/Lost in Space is rap music on comically abstract acid. If you’re a Keith aficionado, you know to expect the unexpected. If you’ve been out of touch for a minute, be patient for about the first four songs. Keith’s method is totally out of the box.

"Yeah/Every morning I wake up/and look in the mirror/I am the official Black Elvis/That’s right/ When you see me/with my wig to the side/wearin’ my short leather jacket/with Marilyn Monroe on my back/I’m livin’ that life."

It’s not exactly hip-hop schtick. It’s definitely la vida loca. Keith is legendary for the wacky personality that has stuck out like a sore thumb since his days with the Ultramagnetic MCs. Irregularity is his common denominator. Nothing else is sacred. Avoid psychoanalyzing lyrics like "Supergalactic lover/comin’ from the projects on the hill/in my monkey-green ragtop Seville." Also, it’s unnecessary to criticize the old-school rhyme style because, after all, that’s what the man is. Just release yourself for 60 minutes and get a kick out of it.

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