Put On: 88 Keys

88 Keys is one of those cats that really makes a lot of hot music, under the radar. And I don't want to make it seem like the homie is "underground" or out of reach, but this cat's been slept on for way too long.

88-Keys' prestige was established back in the late 90’s when he was producing cuts for lyrical titans like Mos Def and Talib Kweli. This time around though, Keys wants to get something off his chest in front of the mic. On The Death of Adam (Decon), Keys tells the story of a man, Adam, who dies over his love/hate relationship with the sugar-walled juice-box named Pussy.

As far as theme albums go, Keys puts together a sequence with few, if any, holes. On songs like “The Friends Zone” about “BFF - Best fucking friend," and "Close Call" featuring Little Brother's own Phonte, Keys warns against the hazards of unprotected sex, or else risk the perilous fate talked about in other songs like, “The Burning Bush” featuring Redman and “Dirty Peaches” featuring J*Davey.

Thankfully, Keys uses his sophisticated musical sensibilities to keep the theme out of redundancy. Samples of rock and R&B soul classics are fused with smart jazz arrangements throughout The Death of Adam. Philly neo-soul crooner Bilal takes the Sly & The Family stone classic, “Mother Beautiful” and reworks it into an impressive groove, appropriately entitled "M.I.L.F”. Then there’s the album’s first single, “Stay Up (Viagra),” featuring Kanye West and showing off sampling skills reminiscent of the late, J. Dilla.

The Death of Adam’s true obscure twist is when 88 filters his vocals to sound muffled in the majority of his tracks, causing his message to fall faint, such as in "Handcuff 'Em." Still he stands strong, as a singer, rapper and producer, without over-stepping or being over-shadowed. 88-Keys rejuvenates Adam and Eve's original sin, as a headstrong, every-man, pussy-claiming storyteller - Vibe.com

Support good Hip Hop, and pick this album up. We might try to post a few snippets from it, but we really want 'yall to go out and cop this retail. Keep it 100, folkers!!


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