Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Peaceful Solutions [extended]

  • Peaceful Solutions [Bandcamp download, 2013] A-
  • Coke Boys 5 [Bandcamp download, 2014] **
  • Barter 7 [self-released, 2015] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Kool & Kass: Peaceful Solutions [Bandcamp download, 2013]
Kool A.D.'s the laff-a-minute one with the throat cured by years of holding his tokes in and the stoned laff to match, Kassa Overall the jazz drummer qua all-over beatmaker and relatively rational and mellow rapper. Kool's more "I gotta think about some shit not to give a fuck about," Kass more "Words from a hat like barely a metaphor/Still finding myself the reason I met her for." Both give "Shouts to our white mothers/Thank God they liked brothers." Bob Marley offers the benediction. Bone Thugs' Bizzy Bone raves about Jesus, money, and sleeping in the bus station for upwards of 10 minutes. A-

Kool & Kass Are . . . Peaceful Solutions: Coke Boys 5 [Bandcamp download, 2014]
Stoned afternoon in a Berlin hotel room hooked on the samples "Dayum, son, where'd you find this?" and "Maybach music" ("C.R.E.A.M.," "Uoeno") **

Barter 7 [self-released, 2015]
Stoner alt-rap from Wesleyan and Das Racist graduate Kool A.D., who in late November also posted O.K., a 100-track pay-what-you-want Bandcamp mixtape I wish he'd fucking "curate" and haven't found time for, although for research's sake I enjoyed the seven-minute "Alice Coltrane" OK. With affable sidekick Kassa Overall making it a duo, this August release is somewhat more . . . can I say finished? Nah. Passage taken half at random over an undeveloped loop from the by no means focus track (whatever that would mean with these jokers) "Hot Negro Pause": "Shit that/Huh/It's that shit that/It's that shit that/Make you slip all of the clips out the guns though/Sippin on a Cris but not the racist champagne the Cuban beer/So y'all can know it's a real Cuban here/Happy Nubian New Year." And it goes on, affably and much more than passably. I've never been much of a pothead. But Victor Vazquez's goofily utopian, politically hip benevolence makes more of weed than Jerry Rubin or Dr. Chronic ever did. He's an escape and a comfort, and I wish him enough money to live on. Curated Verse: "Plus green energy/Clean green energy/No frackin' or dependence on foreign oil/Uh tamales in corn husks no foil/Uh cut the billions allotted to military spending and put that shit into education/But save me one spaceship just in case man." A-