When I started writing for Side One Track One a million years ago, I think I was hip. Not totally hip, but you know, savvy enough to understand my phone and to spend way too much time scouring the internet, and my own inbox, for new music to turn on a whole wave of people to. And then I kept writing and, as it happens, I got older and I stopped understanding The Internet and I just wanted to listen to Counting Crows and cry into my Pepsi Clear. Even today, as I’m going through my list of recently enjoyed music and trying to pick something to share with you folks, I end up on a Kool Keith track. I saw Kool Keith open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 17. I saw him again at RKCNDY (rest in peace) when I was 18 (he threw plastic bags full of chicken and Capri-Sun into the audience before pulling a woman’s shirt off). And now, here I am, telling you folks, that his sort of new song with ace producer L’Orange (featuring contextually old school emcee Mr. Lif) is great. Because, well, hip or fucking not, it is. It isn’t a heater of a song, it doesn’t race along or use KK’s bizarro flow to spice anything up, but it still rolls, low-key like a mid-morning blunt. Kool Keith sounds like he just woke up, picked up his microphone and started laying down verses while L’Orange’s beat (sample heavy with a tweaked and twisted guitar riff) gets him to sit up and say something. It’s classic Keith with a surprisingly classic beat, and you toss in Mr. Lif’s nasally chatter, and well, this is, for more reasons than not, a pretty classic sounding jam. Which, giant hipness-shaped hole notwithstanding, seems right up my alley these days.
:Kool Keith And L’Orange – Twenty Fifty Three (Featuring Mr. Lif):