Kool Keith: Black Elvis/Lost In Space

Kool Keith: Black Elvis/Lost In Space

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Kool Keith

Album: Black Elvis/Lost In Space
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Kool Keith

Album: Black Elvis/Lost In Space

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Maybe Kool Keith is crazy, or maybe he knows something you don't. You'll never know from listening to his albums. As both Dr. Octagon and Dr. Dooom, the one-time member of the groundbreaking Ultramagnetic MCs turned sadistic fantasies into black comedy of the highest sort while letting his libido loose on his only previous album under his own name, 1997's Sex Style. Only months after unveiling Dr. Dooom on First Come, First Served, Kool Keith is back with a new persona, Black Elvis, to continue his program of entertainment through befuddlement. It's a two-pronged campaign: Keith's lyrics always verge on nonsense but suggest a logic all their own, as do his sinuous beats. According to Kool Keith's web site, Black Elvis—one of 16 listed alter egos; check the liner notes for more—was born in Memphis and likes "flashy cars" and "nice disco clubs." His primary concern, however, both musically and lyrically, seems to be to prove himself miles ahead of everyone else in the game. No problem. The grit of First Come gives way here to space-age backing tracks that make Timbaland sound retro. "Lost In Space," for instance, lives up to its title, while "Master Of The Game" makes great use of the late Roger Troutman's already futuristic-sounding Vocoder contributions. Meanwhile, Keith takes self-aggrandizement to a new level, from the MC-dissing "Intro" to the album-closing "I Don't Play." (Sample puzzling lyric from the latter: "I'm back again / I'll stop your programs like Gentle Ben.") In both capacities, Keith has staked out territory all his own and has every intention of keeping it. "Keith Turbo" introduces yet another persona, but it's also an apt metaphor for his work as a whole: Like most tracks, it never gets below the middle of the metronome in terms of tempo while still giving the impression of traveling at the speed of light.

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