||09.21.2016 10:27 AM
Feature Magnetic is a really good fucking album, guys.
SFAD: I think you in particular might really enjoy this one. It's a bit of a no-frills (for Keith anyway) rap-rap album, the kind that you seem to favor over the more conceptual, multilayered, producer-heavy records.
I know we're all pretty impressed with Game's recent run of pure-rap records, and the fact that he simply seems to be taking advantage of a period of high-energy to make something of a come back when just a few years ago most of us thought he was going to fizzle out with "White Marshall Mathers" carved into his headstone. But Keith really deserves some applause here as well.
Back in the early '10s, I was pretty sure Kool Keith was never going to drop another truly masterful record. I really wanted that Dr. Oc/Black Elvis/Dr. Dooom Keith back, that dude who constantly developed new identities and ideas so far removed from the rest of hip-hop as to seem almost alien. I certainly didn't think releasing albums as "just" Kool Keith would get him anywhere. Thought he was out of ideas or out of gas.
But with last year's Time? Astonishing! he really hit a home run with a short, efficient rap album that had all the sonic markings of the more spaced out, intergalactic adventures of yore, without being beholden to any schtick or character. He found a good rhythm with L'Orange, and they just made a great, energetic indie rap record together. It was a total win.
Feature Magnetic has a bit less of the sci-fi vibe... the production is more straight forward, beat oriented, but it's just as good. Perhaps even better. I won't know until I have more time to digest it all.
But seriously, back when I first joined SYG officially, and started talking hip-hop with you cats, all I wanted was for Keith to hit back and continue his legacy with a couple classics in this decade. At that time, I was still very much a Keith/Wu/Doom/Del/Cannibal
Ox bro, embittered about most of the popular hip-hop of the era. Now, clearly, things are different. My tastes have morphed and changed big time, thanks in no small part to these threads. But I still rank Kool Keith among the most influential hip-hop artists of my life. How can I not? His golden period soundtracked my teen years, and he was among the first solo rappers that I was able to get deeply, seriously into.
Now I feel like that's happened. And even though my priorities have changed (I'm no longer about watching the clock, wishing for my '90s faves to return, having become more interested in the great work that's being made in the present (2010-now). I've found in Kanye, Chance, Kendrick and Pusha-T and A$AP Rocky a family of modern (maybe not the right word, but you get me) rappers that are making just as big an impact on me now as Keith and Del and Doom, Wu and OutKast and Tribe, HOV and Nas did back then.
But I still feel vindicated by Keith's work over the last year and a half. I mean, when Del finally answered my prayers by making Deltron II, it ended up being a pretty sad affair all things considered... and yet Keith has blown me away, not by trying to recreate Dr. Octagonecologist (thank god), but by just being Kool Keith as fuck.
These two Keith albums have been fucking fantastic, and I really hope y'all can find the time to check out Feature Magnetic (and Time? Astonishing! if you haven't already), so Keith can get some credit for making such killer albums after so many years in the game.