Record Label: Mello Music Group
In a world full of cheesecake rappers, one man has assembled a phenomenal team to bring you madness. So stop stop what you're doing and get ready for a journey you've never taken before. Enter the sinister doctor, the Ultramagnetic visionary, Kool Keith, whose Feature Magnetic is his latest bizarre transformative odyssey. The album was primarily produced by Number One Producer (another one of Keith's aliases).
The new track "World Wide Lamper" featuring rappers, Bars Murre and Dirty Nasty, premiered today at XXL, where Keith explains, "Album is a full ahead of time extravaganza. If you play it backwards you may hear some wild shit."
As always, Keith seems unstuck in time, oblivious to geography, brilliantly mixed unflinchingly grim details with surreal, fantastical tangents. He’s from the Bronx, but belongs to far-reaching astral dimensions. And Where many of his contemporaries have become legacy acts or revivalists, Keith continues to originate and perfect his wild style. He’s parked behind Oracle Arena in Oakland with Norah Jones -- riding a horse and carriage through Central Park (bystanders shout that he looks like Mike Tyson). He drinks with MF DOOM in dusty London basement and recruits a legendary squadron of fellow travelers including Sadat X (Brand Nubian), Bumpy Knuckles, Boston pioneer Ed O.G., Slug from Atmosphere, and Vallejo legend Mac Mall.
Throughout, Keith weaves in and out of our reality, stopping only long enough to dap his friends and pass the mic. The songs are straightforward: spare, innovative beats, simple hooks, and razor-sharp verses from an unlikely collection of geniuses. Keith switches moods, cadences, and points of view effortlessly. On “Tired” he’s world-weary and unappreciated; on “Bragging Rights,” the mink coat melts off his shoulders like butter. “Peer Pressure” cryptically considers his career and the shifting racial demographics of his audience, a far cry from the scene in “Stratocaster” when he pulls up in the teal Maybach, handing out off-the-book jobs to the people.
In an era of careful branding and secret signings, it’s a radical act to put out a rap record where no MC can hide. The no-frills approach is a high-wire act, the kind of format that weeds out the fakes and the imitators. Predictably, however, "Feature Magnetic" is full of world-class acrobats. On the closing track “Writers,” Ras Kass sums it up best: “H-O-R-S, me and Kool Keith playing HORSE with a verse/ ...all you hear is swish.”
All Tracks Produced by
Number One Producer
08 (Ocean Ave Records),
09 (Ol Man 80zz & Futurewave),
12 (Giz for Crazy 100)
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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