Kool Keith's 2001 album, released on Esham's Overcore Records. Keith is both in front of the mic and behind the boards on this one. Although Keith's minimalist electronic style of production is unlike anything else in hip-hop, it's not up to the high standards set by his lyrical creativity, and the disparity in quality between the vocals and beats causes this album to suffer. Keith can be an amazing producer when he wants to – Black Elvis is proof of that – but here the simple song structures and eccentric backdrops aren't up to par. It's not a bad album, but compare it to his work with the Automator, Kutmasta Kurt, DJ Mighty Mi, Prince Paul, DJ Spooky and other top-notch producers and it invariably falls short. It's no coincidence that the best tracks on Spankmaster are the ones featuring guest producers Esham and Santos.

The album does feel funkier and more danceable than anything Keith's put out before. There's a definite 70's vibe behind hilarious tracks such as "I Wanna Play", "Drugs" and "Jealous", whereas "Jewelry Shine" and "Girls in Jail" apporach dance music at times. "Girls Would U Fuck Tonight" is notable for perhaps being the most obscene KK track ever. Unfortunately, Jacky Jasper is the only one of Keith's old pals to make a guest appearance here, as the Spankmaster has burned most of his other bridges. I shouldn't have to mention that despite the production concerns, Keith's rapping is as mind-boggling as ever, and Spankmaster is still a must-have for fans of eccentric rap.

  1. Concert Intro
  2. I Wanna Play
  3. I'm A Tell U
  4. Mack Trucks
  5. Drugs
  6. Yes Yes Y'all
  7. Haters
  8. N.B.A.
  9. Jewelry Shine
  10. Eldaradoe's
  11. Maxin In The Shade
  12. Big Frank
  13. Jealous
  14. Girls Would U Fuck Tonight
  15. Stoney Jackson
  16. Girls In Jail
  17. Blackula
  18. Dark Vader
  19. Captain Save Em
  20. Spankmaster (Take off Your Clothes)

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