Kass and Kool, your mama and your cousin too...
With Barter 7, the followup to last year's COKE BOYS 5, Kassa Overall and KOOL A.D., aka KOOL & KASS, aka PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS, have undeniably confirmed what everyone knew from their solo efforts: they're so good at rapping that they can basically put in as little effort as they want and still produce funny, flowing, compelling songs. Like my understanding of those projects is that they just met up for an afternoon with a bunch of beats they liked and just screwed around for an hour. If that isn't the case, they've sold me on that illusion in the most positive way.
On the other hand, we have their more "serious" projects, like this 2013 insta-classic, which has cuts as deep and quality as this one. While I love them on mainstream banger beats working in a wonderful pastiche of mainstream hooks and producer tags and stuff, it's even cooler when they get into this mode that only they can do, rocking beats only they could even dream of, with an awesome chill laid back flow that still suggests hanging out and messing around, but with a density of ideas behind it that demands a work ethic that can't wholly be masked.
Like even the opening line man, who else could say that, who else could conceive of that flow? All the comparisons to rappers, switching into Street Fighter references into funny close real life memories... I could go line by line like this... Questioning what he just said and then having them run it back for him? And referencing it later in the verse and having it pop back in? Brilliant... but like, it reveals the illusionary quality a bit, y'know? Like there's no way that he could actually hear the repetition of himself as he recorded the verse, right? He acts like he does, but he can't actually... But (I got this line from an anime I watched last night) he shows you that dream.
Uhh, I hope you understand that. It isn't a big deal either way. Probably I really have no idea how hard anything is to make and what is feasible at various levels of involvement. The part I really wanted to talk about was near the end, where Kool does the legendary "Elevators" hook... something about that slight alteration of it, I want to come up with a compilation of "flow homages" like that. They do a few more on COKE BOYS 5 and Barter 7, and this track they have with Tecla called "At the Costco's"... I think Ab-Soul does it on a track from These Days... but I don't remember exactly, my favorite is prolly Blu doing "Dirt Off My Shoulders" on "Hours", that's the sort of ideal example. If you have other ones you can think of let me know in the comments below~~! Also speaking of jobs (which is what "Hours" is about) I think the most the appealing aspect of getting a job right now is being able to refer to it as my Yaper Caper.