Traveling at the Speed of Thought
Ultramagnetic MCs'coming up on the A-train iPod Mini shuffle lottery more than once this morning on the way to work got me thinking about the poetics of Kool Keith. The rapping on Critical Beatdown is classic 80s dramatic formalist self-consciousness: rapping about rapping. So the degree of uniqueness in the vocabulary, and the inventiveness of the similes are the things that stand out from this self-imposed constraint. And Kool Keith is especially inventive, often coming up with "what did he just say?" head snappers. "I'm like a bird when I'm pecking your skull." It's the relationship between the predicable and unpredictable elements that cause a certain kind of energized effect. You wouldn't get anything like this if it was totally constrained or totally unpredictable.
Traveling hard, ill off, another lunatic
Smacking germs, eating bugs, biting mouse
Roaches wonder why I'm traveling
On to Bellevue because I'm sick
Traveling hard at the speed of thought