Monday, June 14, 2004

The first great rap album made by an old man.

Artist: KRS-One
Album: Keep Right
Label: Grit Records
Year: 2004

From the opening shot of "Club Shoutouts," KRS-One embodies an energy that's not been heard from him since I Got Next from '97. With a career that spans decades, one of the most influential voices in hip-hop returns with one of the best albums of the year. You read that right--KRS-One has finally put together an album that's relevant, with beats that bang, and serves as an updated blueprint to prove that hip-hop can still deliver thoughtful club bangers. The T'cha identity is in full effect, and enables KRS-One to remain in the game without sounding dating or playing catch-up. Backed by some of the most solid beats heard yet this year (courtesy of Domingo, soul supreme, and other second-tier artists who stepped up their game), KRS-One sounds invigorated, focused, and ready to slap-up cornball emcees that have been running the game for too long.

Illegal Business: KRS shines light on the shady dealings that are actually running shit..."Diamond business controls America...Oil business controls America...KRS-One still causin' hysteria."

Phucked: One of many gems that grace this album. The T'cha brings the hammer down on all the nonbelievers who went the easy route of bling, only to find that "Now you're phucked." Rolling bassline, horns come in the chorus, and the knowledge rain comes down like KRS-One never left. "When advice is in your life you need to take it / cause frankly, everybody ain't gonna make it / Back in the days we showed em the way / put it there in the music / but you weren't amazed / you would criticize the bait and basically hate / but let it be known I wanted everyone to be great / but you were dissin, not even tryin to be better".

Here We Go: DJ Q-Bert (!) gets ill on the wheels with a montage of many of KRS-One's finest moments in a turntablist interpretation.

Feel This: KRS rocks a classic breakbeat and takes it back to '89 on this one--and SOUNDS like he's 15 years younger too.

I Been There: A two-note piano loop, stuttering bassline, chorus moans, and sharp beat underlines KRS-One's revisit of the "Outta Here" theme. "I talk how I talk when I talk cause I been there / I walk how I walk when I walk cause I been there / On your own sleepin in the park, yeah I been there..."

Let Em Have It: Horn hits must be back in effect, because this one flips a college-band horn sample that's too ill. Tight lyrics spit sharply with an amped chorus makes this track irresistable.

Keep Right will be released on July 13, 2004. Pick it up and support the real hip-hop.


Post a Comment

<< Home