Review: Kool A.D. – Word O.K.

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“Best rapper in the world…….best rapper in the world…..best rapper……best rapper.”

Kool A.D. references Nas (a lot), in saying that “there ain’t no best.”  So the above would seem to be purely aspirational.  Maybe.  The Oakland native and former Das Racist member has a very past/present/future appeal.  That is to say he reveres the past, embraces his present place in time, and it also looking toward the future of what is possible with rap music.  The album features lo-fi/lo-freq production in line with this thought from new(ish) producer Amaze 88, Toro y Moi (who also co-features on “The Front”), and even Dame Grease.  The interesting samples used match A.D.’s stream of consciousness/brag raps:

“Young culture worker, the role reverser
The holy churcher, the folding furniture
The golden purse herder, the hearse hurdler
The turf surfer…”

Dude might not be the best in the world, but he’s pretty dope.  “Tight” and “Life & TIme” are the strongest tracks, featuring dope features.  Personal fav Mr. Muthafuckin’ Xquire is his normal nasty self on “Tight”.  Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Ladybug Mecca put vintage verses on “Life & Time”.  Unfortunately, not all the tracks hit.  “Hickory” would seem like a sure thing, but the ‘eh…’ chorus and Boots Riley’s ‘eh…’ verse bring it down.  Talib Kweli couldn’t do enough to save the track.  “Special Forces” is just a boring, junior bass song.  I’m confused on how this even made the cut.  It just feels like something is missing a lot.  A.D.’s verse is even lackluster.

Overall, a decent debut, with a couple so-so tracks, and two completely skippable joints.

Favorite tracks: “Tight”, “Open Letter”, and “Life & Time”

Not favorite tracks: “Hickory” and “Special Forces”

Download link on Bandcamp – it is free.

K.

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