Title: Keep Right
Genre: Hip Hop
Label: Grit Records, www.gritrecords.com
KRS-One’s 13th album promulgates his passion for
hip-hop in music that is sobering (hence the title),
yet carries the hallucinogens of East Coast hip-hop at
the same time.
Keep Right flexes its brawny discourse of trenchant
critiques on life and hip-hop with hot rhymes, prayers
and production values steeped in the Old School. "You
Gon Go" cherishes the early days of club and park jams
for authentically shaping true MCs. A syncopated horn
and blurred lines of turntable scratching give off a
Dizzy Gillespie type jazz tied to casual beats. The
woozy combination of Curtis Mayfield strings,
turntable scratching, and guitar picking form a Black
kaleidoscope of Psychedelic soul when the blastmaster
spits on "Everybody Rise."
These types of sounds
pillow the ear in a natural musical intoxication. "My
Mind Is Racing" creates a similar feeling in its
suspense film brass, rhythm and keyboard crescendos. R
and B singer Joe makes a guest appearance on the
somber "Stop Skeeming," which arrests the listener into
alertness by KRS's story about a friend committing
murder over a Frankie Beverly-sounding sample of
Rather than a whole part of the song,
KRS's voice is produced in front of the music to reach
into the minds of his audience. This urgency falls
heavily in his regal Jamaican remake of "Illegal
Business." Staccato notes from a synthesizer posing as
a horn bring back the memories of Shabba Ranks's
earlier hits. MCs who didn't get their business
together independently are clowned on the humorous
horn punched "Phucked."
Gritty and uplifting, Keep
Right does nothing wrong in the way of hip-hop music.
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