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Masters of Illusion

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Album Review

Comprised of Kool Keith, Motion Man, and producer Kutmasta Kurt, the debut album from Masters of Illusion surprisingly exceeds the sum of its parts. In the face of the sounds of mainstream hip-hop that dominated the airwaves upon its release, Masters of Illusion are a welcome anachronism from the underground. Himself an underground hip-hop pioneer, the eclectic and prolific Kool Keith fits all too well with Kutmasta Kurt's production, which more resembles the old school-inspired beats and soundscapes of Keith's former group, the Ultramagnetic MC's, as opposed to most of the solo material that he has released in the '90s. Proving to be a skilled foil to partner and frequent collaborator Kool Keith (Sex Style, Black Elvis, DR Dooom) is the Bay Area's Motion Man, who uses this opportunity to flaunt his aggressive abstract style. In addition to standout efforts from Kool Keith and Motion Man, the album's real star is producer Kutmasta Kurt. At his best, Kurt incorporates head-nodding beats and innovative scratching that recalls and mixes the drama of Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and the cut-up style of Gangstarr's DJ Premier. Feeling more refreshing as opposed to being overly derivative or recycled, Kurt's beats often sound like they belong among the hip-hop of the late '80s and early '90s. Even though the individual songs on Masters of Illusion are generally not overlong, the album only slightly overstays its welcome by the end. Also, the album could have thrived even more if Kool Keith spent less time rapping about his sexual obsessions and more time talking about weak rappers who "belong to Romper Room." Masters of Illusion is a treat for hip-hop fans who yearn for the sounds of old.

Customer Reviews

Underrated Album

In my opinion is is Kool Keith's best effort. Unlike his other work on this album he brings a more contained flow whereas his other albums are more out there. WIth this album even people who are not fans of space-age type rhymes will find that Keith was a lot more reserved with the space-age talk and kicked lyrics most people can understand. Outside of this album his best solo effort was Dr Octagonecologyst where he takes on the role of Dr Octogan. A must listen to album.

Real Hip Hop Heads:Buy this Album

Dont sleep on this excellent album. Kurts production, Mo and Keiths lyrics and DJ Revolution and Babu's turntablism make this a must have for true hip hop heads. Dont cheat yourself and buy the whole thing. Everything I have heard after this release from Kurt, dosent compair to "Masters of Illusion"


These guys bring it hard-core with excellent flow, lyrics and beats. I can't really think of any artists to compare them to, but chances are if you like flow, lyrics and beats, you will enjoy this album.

Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion
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Customer Ratings