Kool Keith

“Drugs” – a track originally featured on Kool Keith’s 2001 release, Spankmaster – is now given new breath, as producers present fresh, dance-oriented takes on this pleasant oddity. Stocked with crafty humor and brazen sardonicism, Drugs provides the listener with a vivid hike into the slummy and mucky world of a sock-selling, falsetto-singing dope addict.  The tale is offbeat and every line is bizarre.  His thoughts are scattered, and his surroundings are dirtier than a rusty needle laced with sewer water and spit. Celebrities sniffing blow and smoking crack, the berserk chaos depicted in his living room and kitchen is nothing short of unsettling. “All the crack and the drugs make me feel the way I feel” --The ghoulish, piercing falsetto is sharp and shrill, drilling into the chorus like a jackhammer.

The Hot Chip remix/instrumental features a classic house composition.  Its handclaps, eager keyboard strikes, moody strings, and tangy synth-bass frames an ambience that’s both sci-fi and nostalgic; and its chest-pounding kicks are enough to blow speakers and knock eardrums out of place.  The horrorcore-ish Two Fingers mix is lethargic and spooky, with glorious synths and sporadic sound effects that will leave the listener with indelible visions of the boogieman in their closet.  Also featured are two impressive DJ Siyoung mixes, Version IV and Version X.  The first is a mid-tempo, melodic disco fantasy that paints images of a loose, experimental night, out-and-about dancing in the city, while the snapping Version X trails a different pole that’s highlighted by moog-like throbs and laid back snaps that can appease the most insouciant of listeners.

"I knew something was wrong when I gave away my VHS and sold a pair of my socks."

Five different interpretations are featured, and each provides its own unique spin on the place where Bic lighters don’t light, and where even Chaka Khan and Smokey Robinson aren’t exempt from high-profile and tell-all exposés. And, as with the original, the remixes may not immediately jump out to some, as they’re geared toward the dance/electronic genres.  However, a few extra listens may steer a few who don't find those genres to be their cup of tea...to try a new flavor.

-Julius Thompson