Kool Keith – Love and Danger

January 01, 1970





It’s easy to read a lot into Kool Keith’s solemn intonation of
“I don’t rap no more/I don’t rap no more,” during “Goodbye
Rap,” the final number on Love and Danger. And a lot of people are,
proclaiming that this, Keith’s 10th or 12th or 18th record (depending on how
you count), is probably his last. But “Goodbye Rap” is, like most of
the rest of the rhymes in Keith’s catalog, as blunt as it is unrevealing. After
all, how can anyone say goodbye to something they were never really a part of?


Kool Keith has never been playing the same rap game as
everyone else. His most successful album, Dr. Octagonecologyst, out-weirded
even the most alternative of “alternative rap.” His stabs at booty
rap (1997’s Sex Style, 2001’s Spankmaster) and
“straightforward” alt-rap (2006’s Mr. Nogatco) were excellent,
if not excellent examples of their respective genres. But the balance of his
catalog is comprised of completely singular and idiosyncratic albums like Love
and Danger
. These are genre-agnostic records that are hip-hop solely by
virtue of Keith’s background. So, in “Goodbye Rap,” Keith seems much
less interested with “retiring” from hip-hop than with pointing out
why lazy observers shouldn’t associate him with a genre that (to him) is so
stale and uninteresting. Ironically (of course), “Goodbye Rap” is one
of the most straight-ahead raps on the entirety of Love and Danger


Even when Keith brings in a fellow legend for a marquee guest
spot on Love and Danger, he goes left-of-center, letting Keith Murray
lay down a scattershot grumble on “Impressions” that’s ultimately
overwhelmed by the track’s bizarro-world production that’s half electro bounce,
half East Coast hardcore. Bizarro-world continues on the track immediately
afterward too, as the guys in Megabone drawl and growl all over the
goth-synth/witch-house rumble of “The Game Is Free.” Sure, Kool Keith
lets some profoundly dumb lyrics loose on Love and Danger, but they all
seem in service of some improvisational rope-a-dope that ultimately finds him
landing a knockout punch. Hopefully, it won’t be his last.


DOWNLOAD: “impressions,” “The Game Is


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