I haven’t done a very good job talkin’ about New York music since I’ve been here, probably because I don’t pay as much attention to New York music as I used to, but one dude that I definitely make sure not to ignore is Kool Keith. You might remember his video from this post a while back (that actually can be found on one of my favorite albums of this year so far), or maybe you know him from the “hip hop band” he was in in the 80s and 90s – The Ultramagnetic MCs, or from his string of pseudonymns and side projects throughout the 90s and later. However you know him, you probably know him as one of the most naturally unique and weird rappers ever, and besides the aforementioned group that gave him his start, usually works on his own.
I was surprised, given this trend, to find that he is featured heavily on this new LUV NY project, a collective of established-but-slightly-under-the-radar rappers from New York (such as A.G., Roc Marciano, etc.) that decided to make an album together. Keith’s involvement in this alone piqued my interest, but then when I found out that Ray West is responsible for the production on the album, I knew I had to get ahold of this one. I first heard Ray West’s work on this really interesting A.G. album from 2010 called “Everything’s Berri“, and I became strangely infatuated with it. His style is really unique, there’s a sparseness and almost melancholy that pervades most of the stuff I’ve heard him do that really appeals to me in rap music. He’s not going to hit you in the face with the bassiest bass or the snappiest snares or even the funkiest basslines, but his drum sounds are genuinely interesting, and I find his loops to be very captivating and organic. So when I found out that Keith and West were gonna be on this project together, I’d heard all I needed to hear. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find “Remember U“, which is the track I’d really like to post from this album, but this one still definitely conveys the interestingness of this combination of talents.
LUV NY – Pressure Up