One of the undisputed legends of hip hop returns with a long awaited sequel. Kool Keith with “Black Elvis 2”, a sequel to the first installment released in 1999.
To prepare my listening for this journey, I heard a Black Elvis recently and enjoyed it’s space -orientated beats as they took me on an intergalactic journey. It makes me excited to see how he will follow it up, and whether he can do it justice.
The intro gets you extremely hyped and you’re strapped in for the ride. Some of the beats on the album are very spacey and chilled out, with the lyrics about wearing a COVID mask on “MAX” being relevant and current.
“First Copy” had a really hypnotic beat which felt eerie, slow and calm. But to be honest I can’t get on with “Kindergarten Adults” the rapping delivery is cringe worthy and takes away from the flow of the album.
“The Formula” with Ice T and Mark Live is more like it. You hear Ice T’s unique flow and that’s it, the aggression in his delivery is something else. It brings a fresh dynamic to the track. I love “Black Presley” as well, it references all the NFL teams which is really awesome, while the production is a highpoint too. The twinkling piano takes you to dizzy new heights. Same with “Space Mountain.” Everything ascends in a heavenly atmosphere and calms the listener down after a stressful day. It is important that this lo fi – ish hip hop exists. I love the delayed vocals in the background.
The album has a very calming aura to it and to me it is a worthy sequel. Less complicated lyrics in comparison to “Black Elvis” but the beats are mesmerising all the same. A great album.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos