Kool Keith - Matthew
"50 body guards surround you / Keeping men that f@#k you in the a*s around you" and so it begins. The onslaught and pent up frustration of Keith's infamous solo album "Matthew" The issues with the Black Elvis project distribution, the build up of hatred toward his peers, it's all here. Keith in his own words said on this album, he just had to let all his frustrations out. He certainly did that.
The first track "F.U.M.F" is raw, the production extremely stripped back and simple. The staccato flow and cutting bars hit hard. Keith is clearly pissed off. "I Don't Believe You" has an ultra basic kick and isn't even really rhyming - as off kilter as the track seems, it does fit into the overall feel of this unique moment in the Kool Keith discography.
"27 Shots" has Keith really firing off. The venom and disgust in his voice "fuck the critics everything I make is a hit" The gravelly basement dweller feel of this beat is coarse, but does work with Keith's angry tirade. Which is a similar story to "Baddest MC" Repetitive key pressing, on some depressed Keyboard or drum machine. However Keith's Jamaican impression and amusing lines save the beat. "Most MC's wear leg warmers and tights"
"I Don't Believe You" as a rap, doesn't even really rhyme, yet there is something enjoyable about the song. I think it's just hearing Keith attack, which is always fun. However as much as it's claimed, I will be hard pressed to believe Kutmasta Kurt was even anywhere within one foot of this beat.
"Lived In The Projects" Keith pulls the cards of all fake rappers as he fires off just bar after bar of heartless dissing "Youse a wannabe thug n*gga, you ain't bugged n*gga / I cut your bitch-ass up, leave your legs under the rug n*gga Who want the whiplash? Cigarette burns, broken face hair pinned up in a cast / Me standin on the top of your tour bus / Butt-naked with a fuckin hockey mask / Slicin your cashmere with a sharp 7-Up glass / Don't you know I'm sick n*gga? Lick my dick n*gga!" - NICE! The beat on this one, again is so stripped down it's almost naked.
Same story on "Sweet Unique Peak" which despite its uninspiring cookie cutter production has an absolutely hilarious hook. Genuinely laugh out loud weird. Kutmasta Kurt has said in an interview he helped Keith with Matthew, but the beats are a marked step down from any expected Kutmasta Kurt and Keith Collaboration. (If that really is what this was)
The hidden track "Test Press" seems to directly name perpetrators involved in his previous Black Elvis project, label shenanigans. A hidden track, yet ironically probably the most complete sounding beat on the project.
Matthew isn't a Kool Keith project I revisit regularly, the production is too sparse. It's not always comfortable listening to be honest, for that reason alone. However there are few things in rap more enjoyable than hearing Keith go mental on "wack mc's" or industry types. This is a project almost solely dedicated to just that. If that isn't worth at least two and a half stars. what is?
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