Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown


And so it begins, the birth of Kool Keith's sound. Ultramagnetic MC's the group founded by Kool Keith back in the mid eighties. This of course being the vast majority of the worlds introduction to the legend that is Kool Keith. Standing above his group members with a rhyme style unheard of at the time.

The production is vaunted, the drums and samples baked to near perfection, even thirty plus years on. The eerie whistle of Ease back, the deep drums. Just Hip-Hop heaven. "Ego Trippin" literally one of the greatest Hip-Hop songs of all time. This track is my version of a classic Grandmaster flash, or Rakim joint. The crispy drums, Keith's roller coaster rhymes. Truly ahead of his time. Probably the first track on the record where we really hear and understand...Keith is in his own lane.

"Travelling At The Speed Of Thought" is just an open door into the creative whirlwind of a young Keith's mind. The guitar riff, and high energy beat never letting up, as Keith goes in. "Respect me, when I whip your brain / Skip your brain and dip your brain / In the lotion while I deck ya skull / I'm like a bird when I'm pecking ya skull / Til it hurts and swell, puffs, bleed, blood / Hatches down, ?covering knots for eye jammy? / I'm taking ya brain from the back / I'mma pull out ya ears cuz I'm sick / Travelling hard, ill off, another lunatic / Smacking germs, eating bugs, biting mouse"

"Ain't it good to you" Keith carves up the rhyme book again. Just approaching lyricism from a sidewards angle, not seen in rap from this era. With a wild display of word juggling. "Give The Drummer Some" is a prime example of how elevated Keith sounds compared to his peers. Even on his début project. The genesis of his greatness. With the addition of down and dirty production with stabbing horns the whole posse do their thing.

"Break North" is just old school excellence and "When I Burn" is a wicked ride, consisting of squealing samples and a live busy beat. Keith having more fun on this one.

If you have the version of Critical Beatdown with "Bait" on? You are in for a treat, the lazer like shank of the snare and super hyped Keith, actually one of my favourite joints outside of "Ego Trippin" on the entries project.

Of course Ced Gee, TR Love, and Moe Love are all part of this classic mix. However, you are at Kool Keith.Net, just know here, we're massive fans of, and really focus on Keith, so please no one be offended!

Like Wu Tang's seminal 36 Chambers and the like, if you have an interest in Hip-Hop at any level, and its history, or even just a fan of dope ass music to be honest. You absolutely owe it to yourself to make sure by now, this is embedded in your play list! The genesis of Kool Keith.

© 2020 Daniel Ranger-Holt - All rights reserved

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