Dan The Automator - A Much Better Tommorow
An extended version of an EP Dan The Automator did four years earlier in 1996, gives us this project. A Better Tommorow. A rich organic sounding, Hip-Hop producers project, with a lot of Kool Keith on. Good times!
"I Want Tha Mic" is a booming blend of bells, beats and bass. Dan is an expert beat butcher and it's clearly evident on this track. Keith flipping out in the manner that only Keith can. "Cartoon Capers" see's Keith rapping over a chilled funky beat referencing cartoon characters, yep!
The overly jazzy production isn't usually to my taste. Keith works better for the most part (in my opinion) with Kutmasta Kurts slightly more traditional Hip-Hop sound. Despite many hailing his Dr Octagon work as his best. However Dan has a way of putting a real organic sounding "thickness" to his music, it's a pleasure to listen to his production.
The music, is of course, of a really high quality, and Dan's drums are to die for. 4:17 is a mellow smoke tinged skit of soft drums, smooth vocals and a myriad of sounds to chill out to. Really beautiful music that warms the soul. No rapping, just Dan showcasing his musical talent. It's a highlight of the album. However of course...I would have loved to have heard Keith weave some words between the many sounds on this beat in particular!
"It's Over Now" is the clear standout of the entire set. A really cool sax laced track with Keith rapping about issues from his past. Also, rapping of course, about Donald Duck making the earth..."Everybody's mean, they're hard, they're killing mothers / Shootin' bang bang, fakin man killing brothers / I had to turn off the radio from all the Walt Disney / Mickey Mouse and friends all talking pop and lippy / Girls excited for what? And over-infatuated / People got their brain washed and folks got manipulated / They start believing Donald Duck made the earth"
Remember, this isn't a Kool Keith project, other rappers pop up here and there, but there's enough Kool Keith on here to satiate us Keith fans.
A Much Better Tomorrow is a really enjoyable set of luscious production. And even if Keith isn't at his stand out best on this project, Keith somewhere above coasting along, is still several levels above many emcees. Check this one out!
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