The Space Invader Koolness of Kool Keith

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Are there aliens among us? Some would say so. This could truly be said about the charismatic rapper, Kool Keith, the founding member of the classic hip-hop group, Ultramagnetic MCs. In fact, Kool Keith has built a career out of this theme of being an eccentric alien. During his time with Ultramagnetic MCs, they created some of the most classic samples in hip-hop today. Anyone who is a hip-hop head can spot the sample of Keith’s voice from “Give the drummer some” off the Ultramagnetic MCs’ classic album, Critical Beatdown. The sample was used in the song, “Smack My Bitch Up,” by the English electronica supergroup, The Prodigy. With all the misogyny that rappers are accused of, the particular lyric/sample that Kool Keith wrote is actually written and directed as an insult to the competition efforts of other rappers.

Okay, so if the lyric, “Smack my bitch up” slides off the misogynistic barometer because of connotation, what about some of Kool Keith’s other titles? Particularly, after he left Ultramagnetic MCs as a solo act. There’s the album entitled, Spankmasterand the cover with the woman in leather shorts bent over, which is yet another backhanded insult to sucka emcees (that’s old skool rap slang). For the record, Kool Keith has stated that this use of sexually-stated themes as insults to other rappers is something he likes to call “pornocore,” a term he claims to have coined along with “horrorcore” in 2007.

If you look at the eccentric rapper’s discography it reads like a list of self-styled horror themed space movies, with titles such as Dr. Octagonecologyst & Dr. Doom 2. Black Elvis/Lost in Space falls into his space alien zone incarnation. If you catch his video for “Livin Astro” from Black Elvis/Lost in Space, the plastic Elvis pompadour wig he wears is enough to make you wonder about the rumors that he spent time in Bellevue Hospital. It’s a funny afterthought you have if you’ve ever spent time around him.

I actually know Kool Keith from back when I lived down in Chelsea in New York City. Being a bit of a space invader alien like he is, I can honestly say that if the aliens do land, hopefully they will be as charming and as clever he is. If so, they will probably enjoy listening to his new album, Demolition Crash. It’s a good album, though there is more tongue-in-cheek “pornocore” humor. The video for the single, “Strip Club Husband,” is posted on Youtube. It is truly hysterically funny! You can also catch the recent Final Level Podcast Kool Keith did with Ice-T on December 23rd, 2014. One thing’s for sure, when the aliens land, they will probably quickly recognize one of their own. It should be really easy to spot the guy coming up to greet them in the Black Elvis pompadour wig.