Yesterday, Kool A.D. of Das Racist fame released a free mixtape titled 51. It’s a sprawling tape, championing backpack-style loop-digging as well as the grimier sides of club hip-hop, all in homage to Kool’s Bay Area roots. You can stream or download the tape over at Mishka’s Bandcamp page.
As per usual, Kool’s thoughtful verses are packed with bits of hilarious wordplay and joyful Dada nonsense. Or, to put it in a more tongue-twisty manner: The lines are littered with languidly literary language that I’d like to make more lucid. The tongue-twisters that appear on almost every track are treasure troves of references. Here’s a parcel (five, to be precise) of them, parsed out for your pleasure.
01. “See how the medium mediate the me’s that you see me by/The TV eye”
Looks like Kool A.D. is mentioning Marshal McLuhan, who said, “the medium is the message.” The T.V. Eye is a reference to a Stooges song, a track less concerned with media studies: The band’s song refers to “Twat Vibe Eye,” as in an ogler’s peeper. Considering Kool’s preoccupation with female genitalia, I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew the meaning of that Stooges track as well.
02. “Text messages, sex, breasteses/Mexicans, Africans, Americans/African-Americans/Born Jamericans/Very, very high/Theramin, seraphim, terrapin slow/Where the pin go?”
The first half here is pretty typical Das Racist material, using a nonsensical list of race names to point out the silliness and irrelevance of those titles. Kool then breaks into a surprisingly evocative ode to weed (most of the time he’s content with just mentioning that he smokes it every day). Theramin because they make spooky space noises, seraphim because they’re angels high in the sky and a terrapin because that’s a sluggish turtle. And the pin thing–well, of course, if you get really faded, you’re bound to misplace a thing or two.
03. “Life is but a Creamsicle/A clean nickel will get you a mean tickle/The dream is to ream lickle teen chickles/And get the green no pickle fo Schickel/stack pancakes/Mike Bickle“
If life’s a Creamsicle, I’m not sure which part is the zesty orange coating and which part is the creamy vanilla interior, but OK, A.D. I originally thought “fo schickles” was just playing along with the same license that has allowed Kool to rap “lickle” and “chickle,” but apparently there was a character on the Showtime drama Queer As Folk named George Schickel who sold pickles. Go figure. Next, Mike Bickle is an American minister who founded an evangelical mission organization called the International House Of Prayer. I think you can figure out the rest. Interestingly, they apparently focus on fasting as a route to God, meaning they probably don’t get to enjoy pancakes that often.
04. “Fuck with Short Cuts like I’m Robert Altman/Fuck with long shots like I’m Robert Altman/Fuck with actresses like I’m Robert Altman/Recycled like half a verse, but that’s art man”
Not exactly a tongue twister, but try saying Robert Altman ten times fast. Short Cuts is an Altman film and long shots are an Altman aesthetic staple. Only one of his spouses was an actress, and not a particularly famous one at that, but I suppose “fuck with” can be interpreted loosely.
05. “I hold money/Herb, cookies and apple juice/Coochies and acid too/Titties and kitties/Cities and nations”
Makes sense that he would mention money first, as that resource can procure most of what follows, like cookies and apple juice. Forget rock ’n’ roll: Kool’s into sex, drugs and wholesome childhood delights.