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Collabs Tape

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Album Review

Scratching like a madman, DJ Junkaz Lou aggressively blends a set of collabs and remixes for Kool Keith's two-CD Collabs Tape, one of the most hip-hop-feeling releases from the man since his days in the Ultramagnetic MC's. The guest list has a lot to do with the street feel of the album with folks like Chino XL, Guru, and Ice-T bringing this brother from another planet back down to the sneaker-wearing hood where battle rapping and freestyling are favored over concept albums and esoteric projects. The same cannot be said for Keith's team-up with the equally "out there" Ol' Dirty Bastard, but if you're thinking "Mankind Theme" is some long lost track from the two, it's not. It's just "Wreck" from the WWF Aggression collection retitled, something the Collabs Tape does elsewhere. There are barely any liner notes and figuring out where most of these tracks originally appeared takes some Internet search-engine savvy, but this stark presentation is perfectly underground mixtape and a minor complaint when faced with so much prime Kool Keith presented in such a fierce, overwhelming mix.


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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Collabs Tape, Kool Keith
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