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Masters of Illusion - EP

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Album Review

San Francisco's KutMasta Kurt is most renowned for being the sound provider for Kool Keith's numerous aliases, Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom, and Black Elvis. However, if his stock was measured solely by the amount of requests for remixes that he receives, then Kurt's NASDAQ rating would make any Fortune 500 company blush (his portfolio includes the Beastie Boys and Dilated Peoples, among many others). For his debut, Masters of Illusion, Kurt does not stray far for lyrical reinforcement, plucking dysfunctional associates Kool Keith and independent circuit vet Motion Man. While many will not subscribe to their misogynistic, bugged-out rhetoric, the backpacking element this triumvirate caters to will undoubtedly become smitten with the guilty pleasures they provide. Kurt saturates Masters of Illusion with a host of minimalist grooves, exemplified by the tribal drums of "Urban Legends" and the oriental-flavored "We All Over." Yet, it is Kurt's array of sinister keyboard stabs ("Masters of Illusion") and sublime organ samples ("Partna's Confused"), in turn spliced and juggled by DJ Revolution, that exhibit the true depth of his diverse production. Though the producer-based compilation has become hip-hop's latest rage (Pete Rock, DJ Muggs, Prince Paul, Easy Mo Bee, and Dame Grease), this underground supergroup's well-formed chemistry distinguishes Masters of Illusion from the accessories in an overcrowded format.

Biography

Born: 19 October 1963 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After single-handedly redefining "warped" as the mind and mouth behind the Bronx-based Ultramagnetic MC's, "Kool" Keith Thornton -- aka Rhythm X, aka Dr. Octagon, aka Dr. Dooom, aka Mr. Gerbik -- headed for the outer reaches of the stratosphere with a variety of solo projects. A onetime psychiatric patient at Bellevue, Keith's lyrical thematics remained as free-flowing here as they ever were with the N.Y.C. trio, connecting up complex meters with fierce, layers-deep metaphors and veiled criticisms...
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Masters of Illusion - EP, Kool Keith
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