Kool Keith / KutMasta Kurt

Diesel Truckers

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

If its release date had been delayed by just one day, Diesel Truckers would've followed the lackluster Kool Keith Presents Thee Undatakerz album by exactly three months. Fans are approaching with caution due to a more than spotty track record, but Keith has gone from lukewarm to on fire, and if his followers catch one whiff of the "Break U Off" single, they'll be feelin' it. "Break U Off" is tight enough, driven enough, and slick enough to get Keith something he hasn't been graced with in quite some time: radio and BET spins. Why it has to be this way is anyone's guess, but KutMasta Kurt is the only producer outside of DJ Q-Bert who really seems to "get" Keith. The duo's work on Diesel Truckers is a step above what they did on 1997's Sex Style, with the same funk but more ideas. "Mental Side Effects" is the catchiest track Keith has unleashed since "Earth People" and the flattened-tuba-through-a-filter Kurt lays on the cut shows Q-Bert isn't the only sidekick who can get wild. He's given Keith his bounce back on the ridiculously fun and bright "I Love You Nancy," with the rapper swaggering like a lover from another planet. The "we're thugging truckers" concept rears its head here and there, but it's dropped when not needed, something the Undatakerz album refused to do. Diesel Truckers is hardly the stunning revelation Dr. Octagonecologyst was, but it is Keith's kicking and purposeful return to being a player in the game. For his quality-starved faithful, that's revelation enough.

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