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by
1 January, 1999@12:00 am
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Just when you thought you figured him out, Kool Keith flips the script, once again. “I mean, is the it just more of the same misogynist bullshit and rhymes that don’t make sense album after album?” cried the skeptics when Keith decided to start dropping albums left and right over the last few years. To the average listener, one who will choose not to absorb every clever line that Keith slips in, it is the same thing every time. To those of us who actually listen to the lyrics, prepare to get Lost In Space. Everyone else? Prepare to just get lost.

See, the story is, that Dr. Dooom, is the evil twin brother of Black Elvis. While both are clearly Kool Keith dressed up in an Elvis wig, on wax, these are two different people entirely. Simply put, Dr. Dooom is the misogynist cannibal, who rhymes about hiding leftover body parts in the freezer for later, while Black Elvis is a rock star from space, rhyming about futuristic flashy cars, expensive hotels, and…. robots, (both mechanical and female.)

But don’t get it twisted, while Black Elvis may be rhyming about some of the finer things in life, by no means is this Keith’s attempt to try and make something jiggy. As a matter of fact, it seems like the flashy Black Elvis image is being used as the bait, to reel in that audience to listen to some truly next level shit.

The sound on this album is different than that of Keith’s previous efforts, Dr. Octagon or Dr. Dooom, as Keith handles production entirely himself, without the aid of Dan The Automator or Kutmasta Kurt. Some may see this as a fault, while others will enjoy the more cosmic sound that Keith’s beats deliver. I honestly enjoyed Dr. Dooom’s album more than Black Elvis’, just in the fact I preferred the more underground beats of Kutmaster Kurt, and for whatever reason, the subject matter of cannibalism, excited me more than that of the life of a spaced out rock star on Hollywood Boulevard.

At times, Keith ventures out onto planets that should have been left undiscovered. “Master Of The Game”, a duet with fallen star Roger Troutman, attempts to create the southern bounce feel, yet just ends up sounding like a big mistake. Other tracks, such as R&B hook laced “Supergalactic Lover” and “I’m Seein’ Robots” are creative lyrically, but sonically put the listener to sleep.

Not to say that this album doesn’t contain it’s classic Kool Keith gems. Where “Master Of The Game” failed, “Fine Girls” prevails, executing the double time flow very well, delivering another fresh love song from Keith. “Rockets On The Battlefield” will make lovers of the now deceased Doctor wet their pants, with it’s slow, sticky, off key production, and Keith’s varying tempo flow that sets it off in the first verse. “Better than Octo, although created by the master genius, you’ve seen this, when I take your mind out intravenous.”

The title tracks, “Lost In Space” and “Black Elvis” are also two anthems that have Keith’s trademark, simple, yet addicting hooks, that we’ve grown to love over the years. This also evident on some of his collaboration tracks, such as “Static” where Black Elvis and Sadat X, make an excellent tag team, trading mics and showing off great chemistry. Also, on “Clifton”, he does the same with The Noggin Nodders. Both collabos have strange hooks, yet after a few listens, you’ll find yourself singing “CLIFTON! (Santiago.) KEITH! (Televasquez.) PSYCHE”, while you’re online at Wal-mart.

Liking this album almost entirely depends on which sound of Keith you prefer, that is, if you even prefer the sound of Kool Keith. While Dr. Dooom and Sex Style had more of an ill hip-hop sound, Dr. Octagon brought out Keith’s more futuristic sound. Lost In Space is almost a return to that sound, in the fact that Black Elvis’s rhymes are more super scientifical, than Dooom’s or Keith’s, yet the Black Elvis’s style is much more flashy than Octagon ever was.

But this is what makes Keith the legend that he is. The guy drops albums all over the place, and alters his style almost every time. With each album, comes a new character, plus mad humorous lyrics that require multiple listens to fully pick up on. I can only wait for the day that Funky Ass Records has mass distribution, and Keith is dropping albums as fast as No Limit, introducing us to new characters like Mr. Green, Clean Man, and Fly Ricky The Wine Taster, on a monthly basis. Until then, Black Elvis has a spot reserved on my shelf with the rest of the family.

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