Kool Keith, like MF Doom, is one of the most consistent, enigmatic, and creative forces in hip-hop today. From alias to alias, Kool Keith has rocked microphones over and over again. Originally in Ultramagnetic MCs, his classic “Ego Trippin” will never be forgotten. From the Bronx, he moved to California and met up with Kutmasta Kurt. While Kurt started Threshold Records, Keith started Funky Ass Records. Their first collaboration “Sex Style” was a wild LP filled with lollipops, booty, nuts, and Corn Pops. Songs like “Don’t Crush It”, “Plastic World”, and “Keep It Real… Represent” were hilarious classics. Keith would soon let his alter egos out of the cage. Dr. Octagon, Dr. Dooom, and his side-project The Analog Brothers were all interesting independent albums that the true fans loved. All this time, Keith released solo albums. Since they were produced by Kool Keith himself, “Matthew” and “Spankmaster” were 2 albums that did not have Kutmasta Kurt’s unique, thick bass production. While the themes and lyrics were appreciated, many fans wanted Kurt back in the fold. They missed the chemistry they had as a team. Fast forward to 2004, Kool Keith and Kutmasta Kurt return with The Diesel Truckers LP. Fans rejoice as they prepare to get run off the road.
From the start of the album, the concept is fun and bold. “Diesel Truckers Theme” is a song that only Keith could pull off. “Diesel truckers, truckers, truckers, we are the best!”. Keith’s flow and lyrics are so odd. Mix that with his bravery to do weird things and the final outcome is amazing. “Break U Off” is reminiscent of the “Sex Style” phase. Kurt’s thick head-nodding beat fits the track perfectly. The female chants in the chorus make it perfectly sleazy and sexy. Of course, lotion in mentioned. “Mane” is one of the best and most energetic tracks on the LP. Reminiscent of old-school 80’s tracks, the break-dance beat struts along. Keith raps, "...M.A.N.E., spells mane - Yeah that's me, don't forget it / F.A.M.E., spells fame - Whatever it takes, yo I'ma get it / G.A.M.E., spells game - Since it started, I've been in it / M.A.N.E., spells mane - The way I start it, I'm a finish..." The beauty of the track is that Keith ends every line in his verse with “Man” but pronouncing it “mane”. “…You know the bass is out, you comin thick mane / I'm droppin words on beats, they comin sick mane / That little cadence you use, that ain't shit mane / Long-face or not, you be a big mane / Sweet on my feet, flow like Sugar Shane / You never get up the hill, to the Hall of Fame / E-40 my man, he did 'Tha Hall of Game' / Girls walk the stage, while the speakers bang / Pretty titties that hang, when you droppin them thangs..." There is a bonus track “Game” which is basically a similar remix. “Takin It Back” is another gem where Keith gets nostalgic about his Bronx home and back in the days. Keith raps, “…Come follow me, PS 53 classmate with Kenny Pound / The Cold Crush Brother, watching Cassanova Lover / The master flower, Keith Thornton, there's no other / My class over at three with Bronx MC's / The super imposer, cruisin on the major deacon / Quarts and blunts, sippin Olde E on the weekend / My girl Fatima, half black and Puerto Rican / I'm movin fast rate, Webster down to Bathgate / A lot of guys was good, but many came half weight / The comp got bad, the city came half rate / Think to the critics, I left them all in debate....” A beautiful addition to “Takin It Back” is the scratched sample of Black Moon. Motion Man makes a wonderful appearance on “Serve Em A Sentence” where Keith and Motion talk about the punishment they would inflict if they made the laws. Keith raps, “…3 weeks in jail for smokin cigarettes in public /Curfew, everybody go home at 2 in the afternoon / Murder an elderly lady, you die in the gas room / Rapist, put them in hot water / Let the public throw hot grease on 'em in a bathroom..." It is definitely a creative and humorous track. Other nice cuts are the old school “The Legendary” and bugged out “The Orchestrators”.
There are many tracks that bring the concept to the forefront of the LP. The opening “Diesel Truckers Theme” is accentuated by “Diesel Truckin” with MC Dopestyle and the “Diesel Truckers Movie” in the enhanced CD potion. The original and over-the-top humor of the concept can only be pulled off by the team of Keith and Kurt. It is not as weird out as Dr. Octagon and not as morbid as Dr. Dooom. Also, it is not as spaced out as Black Elvis. The Diesel Truckers are like redneck pimps riding the highway of hip-hop.
While the concept is funny and many songs are instantly gratifying, there is a good amount of filler. “I Love You Nancy” is humorous at first but soon gets a little annoying and too long. “Can I Buy You A Drink” falls into the same category. Some of the songs have simple chorus that just repeat.
The Diesel Truckers may not be for everybody but the fans can and will appreciate the reunion of Kool Keith and Kutmasta Kurt. Together, they work extremely well. The Diesel Truckers is another addition into the wild world of Kool Keith. Shift gears, pull into the truck stop, fill up the tank, and roll em out. The Diesel Truckers are rolling over hip-hop with all 18 of their wheels.