Kool Keith - Black Elvis / Lost In Space

15/05/2020

The infamous album, Keith's "commercial success" The album of his, alongside his Dr Octagon record, that non Hip-Hop music writers tend to reference and enjoy writing about. Yet in all honestly, often know little of anything else Keith has done before and after this was released. Is this really the legendary album many proclaim?

"Super galactic lover" is just draped in so much buttery funk it's hard not to fall in love with this smooth number. Keith preaching the benefits of being his lady, over a silky backdrop. "I'm Seeing Robots" has a similar level of funk, with some wickedly weird rhymes from Keith. "goo goo gah gah, them ugly kids call me da-da / Missin they father while you try to pawn the ring and phones and / You probably Jonzin, gettin greedy, eatin at Tony Rhome's and / Stuffin your mouth out with fat pigs, you smokin cigs" LOL

"Keith Turbo" oozes cool soul, there's a "major label" clarity and crispness to Keith's vocals on this overall record, that always stands out to me. It's prevalent from the first track. This same quality is particularly noticeable on this song.

Where as the completely insane "Clifton" gives a sneak peak, into the madness to come in a few years, on the absolutely incredible Masters Of Illusion Album. The hilarious hook with accompanying strangled Parakeet is just off the meat rack. Mad, and I love it.

"The Girls Don't Like The Job" presents Keith as some kind of manager, unhappy with the performance of his female workers. The hook by itself would be hilarious enough, let alone Keith's insistence on actually staying on topic throughout most of this song. Which for some reason makes the track even more unusual and brilliant. "I been through the week, did you book my airline flight assistant Terry? / You'll get no record deal actin like Neneh Cherry, back to work don't flirt / Give me them passes to the James Brown concert / Front row seats at least, PLEASE don't bother me I need peace / Terry you been late a lot / I hate a lot of those same black pants you wearin' dancin' / Take two days off, I'm goin' to the playoffs"

For some reason I was surprised to learn later down the line after this came out, that Keith handled all the production on this. Albeit with apparently some assistance from Kutmasta Kurt on the drum patterns. Finishing tracks like "I Don't Play" are just superb, with chilly pure perfection production and Keith at arguably his absolute best.

The beats are consistently of a really high quality, Keith sounds fresh and live on it, and the project as a whole stands as a seminal show piece of Kool Keith at his best. Label issues aside, promotional problems, beefs most of which are addressed in some form or another on his next album Matthew...here at the KoolKeith.Net, we don't care for none of that, it's just about the music...

As a project, this is one of Kool Keiths best moments, yes, it's a little more easier for the average listener to digest with some sparkling production, lavish hooks and solid structure. Meaning, it may not be as "hardcore" as some of his other projects and for that, lose some of it's appeal to a lot of super Kool Keith fans. But it's Keith's rhyming that's the stand out here, the fact the beats are mostly dope as fu*# are a bonus. "Black Elvis" sits in my personal top 5 Keith albums, it is, quite simply, a classic.

"No joke I bust back. Kid for real, watch your butt crack"

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