This album opens up with the greatest introduction I've ever heard on a hip-hop record. What is it, you ask? A clarification that ultimately says that trip-hop "doesn't exist" and "doesn't mean sh*t". Everything is talked about on here from politics to police, rapping to recording, ho's to pro's. In other words, a wide array of topics and styles are touched upon here.Related Videos:
A collaboration between Kool Keith, Kutmasta Kurt, and Motion Man, "Masters of Illusion" is a continuation of the 12 inch put out on Threshold back in 1998. What's most respectable is that Kool Keith, one of the most prolific folks around today, doesn't have his name on the cover, back of the jewel case, or anywhere beyond his real name being in the publishing credits and his website being listed. Folks, that's why Keith must be respected under all circumstances, he does things for the love of hip-hop, without the worry of sales or consistency. Beyond that, the music that you're hearing has been created and/or arranged by the very same guys that I've mentioned above -- not Swizz Beatz, not James Brown or George Clinton samples -- no outside parties or guest raps either.
"Masters of Illusion" is comprised of quality rhymes and music that combines elements of both vintage and futuristic. While the latter may be the reason why many are digging Outkast, rest assured that this music isn't exactly radio-friendly. Speaking its mind when needed, there aren't exactly hooks or shout-along choruses on the easy-majority of tracks. Besides, when was the last time you hear real-deal cutting on a single?
Add in top of the line skits like "The Funky Redneck" and "Clifton's Conversation" (which naturally put anything Jay-Z or Busta Rhymes do to shame in terms of quality, class and humor) and you've got one excellent release here. Though I don't know if this is something I could put on in the car, it's intelligent enough for work on the computer, groove-ridden enough for the club, and witty enough for regular hanging around. How many hip-hop albums can you say that about nowadays?
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