**Black w/Orange Sunburst [Halloween & Midnight Edition]**
It’s been more than forty years since Kool Herc starting throwing parties in the South Bronx, and so you could forgive the casual fan for thinking that nearly every permutation of hip-hop has already been explored. But KEITH, the new album from the iconic rapper Kool Keith and the master producer Psycho Les (due out July 12 on Mello Music Group) argues just the opposite: that what’s absurdly funny can also be sinister and strange, that the form can still be broken in new and radical ways.
KEITH is a laser-focused, remarkably vital work from two artists entering the fourth decades of their respective careers. If nothing else, take as an example a couple of the guests who appear here: there’s Jeru the Damaja, who represents the true-school ethos of New York in the early ‘90s, but there’s also Paul Wall –– he rides shotgun on “Foot Locker” –– who broke through more than a decade after Jeru, as the woozy, laconic Houston scene of the mid-2000s briefly stole the national spotlight. Both serve as ideal foils for Keith: they’re somehow tethered to Earth as we understand it, while he’s free to orbit around them, and us, in a path that only he will ever understand.