13th album from KRS-One, the onetime leader of Boogie Down Productions, one of the most influential hardcore hip-hop outfits of the 80s.
While his peers are content to fade into their twilight years, the Blastmaster can’t stop, won’t stop. With a career now almost 20 years deep, he’s still churning out LPs like he was 18. The problem is that while KRS has stayed his course, hip-hop hasn’t, and there are times when he can feel anachronistic, especially since his lyrics haven’t made a quantum leap forward, either stylistically or content-wise, in about a decade. That said he’s still blessed with one of rap’s greatest voices, as persuasive as it is authoritative. Keep Right is the most consistent of the indie albums he’s put out since 2001, featuring much better production than what he’s been saddled with in the recent past. He manages to punch out some solid tracks here, such as the update to his older classic “Illegal Business,” the powerfully funky “Phucked,” and an anthem for the old school, “Feel This.” At 23 songs, it’s all a little overwhelming (though many of them are short); KRS is probably just trying to live up to the album’s penultimate song, “Still Spittin’.” –Oliver Wang
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