Kool Keith

Game

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The hip-hop triple-team of Kool Keith, H-Bomb, and Marc Live debuted with Game, a record that's par for the course of Kool Keith projects -- but still eons away from the rap mainstream -- complete with sub-basement productions and beats, left-field disses, dozens of paranoid ideas, and interstellar intelligence of all kinds. The threesome spend much of the album protecting the vagaries of underground rap from a devilish major-label executive attempting to steal Keith's style and persona (and even his wigs). There's plenty of room for commenting (probably) on issues of the day for "Copy What U Want" and "Rock Is Dead," and an indefensible conclusion on "Game," "game is game." As usual, Keith's entertainingly obscure, even going so far as to dis NBC News' (?) John Salley, who'd kept most of his commentary most recently to Fox Sports Network. Similar to Mark E. Smith of the Fall, he's able to keep the same distinctive, intriguing sound on each record, no matter who else appears on it -- though H-Bomb and Marc Live each contribute a lot to what's heard.

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