Ice-T Interviews Kool Keith, & The Ultramagnetic MC Explains Creating His Groundbreaking Style (Audio)
Heads may not know this, but back in 2000, Ice-T and Kool Keith made an album together in Pimp To Eat. The Analog Brothers, consisting of Keith, Ice, Marc Live, Black Silver, and Rex, was believed to be a response (largely on Keith’s part) to RZA’s “Bobby Digital” persona. The cross-country collaborative effort forging Ultramagnetic MC’s and Rhyme Syndicate was a popular, out of left field independent release during the Underground Hip-Hop era’s glory days.
Fifteen years later, Ice-T and Kool Keith are still brothers. For the Final Level Podcast (#25), the O.G. invited Black Elvis to the radio lab. They discuss their history, dating back to the 1980s, rolling in the Bronx.
Keith weighs in on dissin’ Run-DMC from jump in his career on the legendary “Ego Trippin'” record. He discusses sportscaster fashion, observations from the adult XXX theaters of the 1970s and 1980s of 42nd Street, the Ultramag to Boogie Down Productions ties, and more.
Always a character, Keith is both wildly entertaining talking about other items (his use of the word “Kwanza” and talking about the smell of mop-water), but incredibly lucid discussing his Hip-Hop career. It’s wild to imagine that Keith, regarded as one of the genre’s most innovative lyricists, was a dancer who simply transitioned into MC’ing. The MCs Ultra history is not easily accessible online, so listen close around the 30-minute mark to understand something seriously important.
#BonusBeat: Keith admits he found Melvin Bliss’ “Synthetic Substitution” break-beat, which would be the basis for “Ego Trippin’.” Additionally, it was Keith who claims he introduced the Joe Cocker “Woman To Woman” sample to Hip-Hop, first through Critical Beatdown, and thus, “California Love” almost a decade later. As the music world mourns Joe Cocker, take heed.