Release Date: Sep 16, 2016
Record label: Mello Music Group
Genre(s): Rap, Underground Rap, East Coast Rap, Left-Field Hip-Hop
After 26 albums, eccentric rap Godfather Kool Keith’s showcases more lyrical funambulism above his rap peers while inching himself towards a date with a call girl at Burger King. On Future Magnetic, Keith’s channels Bruce Lee’s supreme “no style” philosophy to eliminate wack MC’s with non-sequiturs and stanza contortions across 14 tracks. The album, mostly produced by Keith under his alias Number One Producer, contains quirky beats that would inspire a Dadaist painter to play it as the soundtrack for their next art project.
Kool Keith is the kind of rapper who, instead of telling you he’s a Mets fan, says, “The Yankees lost but the blue-and-orange team amuse us.” He doesn’t meet new love interests, he has flight attendants cooking salmon cakes in high-heeled shoes; wack MCs don’t get booed off stage, they get shipped to deli meat plants in Quebec. In October, Kool Keith will turn 53. He’s been a legacy act for three different generations of rap fans, written off and resurrected innumerable times.
On Feature Magnetic, hip-hop's all-time greatest eccentric teams up with a slew of rap veterans for a batch of straightforward yet surreal tracks. Keith is pushing 50, and while he's sounded like he's phoning it in on some of his later albums, he generally sounds pretty energized on this one, and many of his rhymes are flat-out hilarious. Even though he only does about half the rapping, he produced most of the selections (billed as Number One Producer), so it sounds remarkably cohesive.
Four years after Keith bade goodbye to rap on Love & Danger, his release rate continues to unravel like his flow: unabated and indifferent to the past, present or future. There was a time when Keith was so ahead of the game that rappers and producers alike scrambled to catch up; these days, he orbits in his own disconnected craft, with a scope so widescreen it’s practically 360 degrees. Broadly, his interests are: sci-fi expeditions, hardcore-sex rap and the natural inferiority of everyone else – “cheesecake rappers”, as he has it here.
New York hip-hop luminary Kool Keith enlisted a dozen underground mainstays to show "cheesecake rappers" how the old school gets busy on his latest offering, Feature Magnetic. Unfortunately, Keith is treated to some friendly fire here, as most of his cohorts outshine him.Those who've followed the man of many aliases may be relieved to hear his patented surreal boasts, namedrops and internal rhymes throughout the 13-track LP, but after a discography several dozen albums deep, one can't help but deem the novelty long expired. That Craig G, Mac Mall and MF Doom — the zany Abel to Keith's Cain — handily out-rhyme the Bronx native does Feature Magnetic's mission no favours whatsoever.