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Kool & Deadly (Justicizms)

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Album Review

Subtitled "Justicizms," this album boasts one of the ugliest covers ever — a close up of Just-Ice's snarling gold dental work — and the sounds included are equally harsh. Producer KRS-One does not try and emulate Kurtis Mantronic's high-tech polyrhythms and samples, instead he strips the sound right back and keeps things very raw: at times there's little more here than Just-Ice's gruff vocals and the sound of a wheezing drum machine. Some old school fans rate this as the best album by the artist simply because it is so remorseless and raw. Perhaps the trick for newcomers is to check this album first and, if it interests you, then go to Back to the Old School for desert. Fans of KRS-One will want to own the record simply to hear him and Just-Ice trading rhymes on "Moshitup." The standout track is "Going Way Back," where Just-Ice rasps one of the first hip-hop history lessons and dares you to disagree that Brooklyn is where it all began. Ruff stuff.


Born: 22 June 1962 in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

A former bouncer at punk clubs, Joseph Williams, Jr. was the first of the New York rappers to embrace gangsta rap, and when he burst out of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn as Just-Ice, he gained instant notoriety. Muscle-bound, tattooed, aggressive -- he resembled Mike Tyson in more than just looks -- and with a mouthful of gold teeth, he certainly stood out. His debut album Back to the Old School proved he was more than just a pretty face. It came out on the independent New York label Sleeping Bag, and certainly...
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Kool & Deadly (Justicizms), Just-Ice
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