Review - Black Elvis/Lost in Space

Artist: Kool Keith

Black Elvis/Lost in Space
Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Black Elvis/Lost in Space

In "Living Astro," Kool Keith declares, "Every morning I wake up looking in the mirror, I am the original Black Elvis -- I'm for real with this." Hip-hop's schizophrenic is back this time as the Black Elvis, the persona for his new CD release, the second in only two months. Like his past roles as the perverted gynecologist Dr. Octagon and housing-project slum lord Dr. Dooom, Keith continues to confound with his bizarre rhymes (think: science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick meets jazz unconventionalist Sun Ra) on "Black Elvis/Lost in Space," even programming the beats and samples himself. His first truly solo album, the lyrics overpower the skeletal, noir-ish, and ridiculously funky tracks, which drag a bit (a lack of DJ scratching?).

In lead songs "Release Date" and "Intro," Keith acts as his own record company/PR man while poking fun at the sheeplike mentality of phony MCs from BET. Innovative Keith backs it up, though, leaving listeners scratching their heads to choruses like the one from "Lost in Space": "Metric bypass computes on overload retrace 'cause we're lost in space." Huh? Kool Keith is light years ahead.