Kool A.D. – Word, O.K.
Could splitting up have been the wisest career move Das Racist ever made? While their major-label album as a duo, Relax, was somewhat lacklustre, both Himanshu and Kool A.D. have produced a satisfyingly fat catalogue of mixtapes since then, and Kool A.D.'s new Word, O.K. could be the best one yet. The beats, from a wealth of underground producers, including memorable contrbutions from Toro y Moi, are slick and simplistic, loop-driven; sampling jazz, funk and easy listening breaks. Kool A.D.s laconic flow is leavened with genuine laugh-out-loud humour and intricate, tightly-written, deceptively throwaway couplets.
I'm On A Plane sees Kool A.D. half-inching the chorus of a Nirvana song atop a sweet break that sounds like a fragment of elevator music. Tight sees foul-mouthed party animal Lakutis and Mr Muthafuckin' eXquire attempting to out-contriversy each other, with hilarious results. The Front sees Toro y Moi contribute a chorus over a beat that sounds like Prince Paul-era De La on a de-tuned radio, and by the time NY rap royalty Talib Kweli turns up to drop a verse on Hickory, Kool A.D. has already charmed with his beaming, ecstatic shout-outs to the moon, sun and sea ("Shout out to the oceans and shit / The pacific, specifically"). Even the Dame Grease-produced Special Forces bounces with cheerful abandon. With devastating wordplay and classic NYC silver age hip-hop-sounding beats, this one was worth the wait – Kool A.D. has kicked the ball firmly into Heems' half of the court.