The veteran rapper shows listeners what it takes to be beautiful
There has been a surplus of veteran hip-hop artists creating and releasing work within the last couple of years. With each release, people see these artists bring the skills and creativity that made them so loved in the first place and try to work into the current trends. For some, it’s more about staying true to their work despite all the voices telling them to stick to what is mainstream. Since his debut in 1988, Kool Keith has managed to maintain his eccentric lyricism and personas in a plethora of projects. In his latest release, Keith’s Salon, Keith takes a moment to reflect on what it means to become beautiful according to today’s standards but in his famous raunchy and outlandish way.
Starting the album is “Intro,” where it allows listeners to enter the “salon.” The sound of the doorbell, people talking in the distance and clippers powering and gliding against the air fill the track. Following is “Yatchs,” in which Keith brags about his fame and status and how it relates to people trying to achieve the same. “Clams” has the catchiest chorus with the lyrics, “how the clams taste” against a bubbly production. In contrast to the light and sweet production are the raunchy metaphors and descriptions scattered throughout the lyrics. “Extravagance” has a funky production while it lists off the material items and experiences that, specifically, women want in life.
“Bright Eyes” has a jazzy techno vibe between the beat itself and the effects on the hook. In an overtly sexual way, Keith references the different ways people try to gain exposure. He specifically points out the way people dress/present themselves in public and the absurd acts they would do to gain some sort of attention. “Wiggle” is over a bouncy production, allowing him to bring out his legendary flow. “Pipes” has a fun beat that is reminiscent of his previous work. The upbeat tempo gives Keith the chance to sing over the hook and play around with the syllables in each word, deciding to elongate some and abruptly end others. Coming as the last single before the album was released, it really highlights the large number of sexual references Keith makes.
Kool Keith does not cater to mainstream media. His method and skills have been able to withstand decades in an industry that is constantly evolving. With producer duo Tripled Parked taking hold of the entire production of Keith’s Salon, Keith is allowed to experiment but remain true to what his fans know and love. Over all the fun beats, sexual metaphors and over-the-top lyricism, Keith’s Salon is a look into the good, bad and ugly things that involve beauty.