Kool Keith, B-Real & Joell Ortiz Show MCs How To Level Up (Audio Premiere)
Next month (July 12), veteran MC innovator Kool Keith will see the release of his latest album, simply titled KEITH. Produced entirely by The Beatnuts’ Psycho Les, KEITH will feature appearances by Houston’s Paul Wall, Cypress Hill front-man B-Real, and Crooklyn Dodger lyrical slugger, Jeru The Damaja. Following last month’s lead single “Zero F*x,” assisted by B-Real, Ambrosia For Heads premieres the spacey, slower-paced remix, produced by Nottz and also featuring Joell Ortiz. Additionally, Keith and Les drop off their second single, “Turn The Levels.”
While the original May track, as Kool Keith described, “sounds so emperor!” the song’s remix by Nottz provides a more laid-back take, with the same “zero f*x given” attitude. Dr. Greenthumb opens the cut with his syllable-bouncing wordplay: “Why’s your face tight? / Is it because I’m shinin’ and you taste light? / You’re a special case, right? Pinnacle, that’s where I met you critical / F*cking salty individuals.” Keith re-recorded his vocals for the remix, spitting his crafty brand of left field raps: “I’m lookin’ for publicity with the Cannons / No need for a selfie and the camera / The f*ck a MacLaren is? Orange, mandarin / The ladies blowin’ my d*ck like the wind / My trend is to pull up on they a*s and fender-bend / Get cozy with Khloe Kardashian / Intimate / Any mothaf*cka that you think can rap, send ’em in.”
Joell Ortiz checks in for the third and final verse to close the track out, delivering a dizzying, smooth flow: “That street sh*t is up in him / Heat tucked in some tough denim / Ni**as be starin’ up, wonderin’ what hit ’em / This rough rhythm in ya heart, homie my heart never touched women / What that means? zero f*cks given.” Having made trunk-knockers for Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, and Scarface), Nottz’ production provides a more airy presence to the “emperor” feeling of the original song, acting as a solid foundation for each MC to spit more laid-back raps.
In addition to the “Zero F*x (Remix),” K.K. debuts KEITH sophomore single, “Turn The Levels.” With Les behind the boards, this one features the vocal sample chorus that The Beatnuts have used on their own hits as well as work for Ghostface Killah, Fat Joe, and others. With drums and accents, the MC who has created alter-egos, groups, and whole universes takes listeners on a trip inside his mind. It’s a Hollywood affair as the Bronx O.G. details what’s in his driveway, who is his celebrity friends are, and seduces a new friend.
In a statement to AFH, Keith described, :Turn The Levels” as “sensational with steroided chorus another smash on the turntables a must on the playlist. An up and coming rapper’s dream song [that] only I can do!”
KEITH (available for pre-order) is out on July 12 courtesy of Mello Music Group. Last year, Joell Ortiz partnered with Apollo Brown for the acclaimed Mona Lisa at the label. Previously, Nottz teamed with Little Brother’s Rapper Big Pooh for Home Sweet Home, which also arrived via the imprint. Notably, Joell confirmed this week that on June 7, he and Salaam Remi (The Fugees, Nas, Amy Winehouse) are releasing the Boxtalk EP.
Press image provided by Kool Keith.