KRS-One Keep Right

Thirteen albums deep, KRS-One is still not showing any signs of slowing down. Despite the indifference that has been shown to his past few releases, the Blastmaster is still regularly cranking out new material. That persistence is to an extent paying off. While Keep Right is by no means anywhere near the classic heights of his Boogie Down Productions zenith or the solo peak of Return of The Boom Bap, it does show an improvement over recent material, which isn’t really saying much but it’s significant at a time when many would be tempted to write him off altogether. He’s his usual preachy self, laying down hip-hop rules with customary bluster and his delivery is as forceful and distinctive as ever. However, the interludes that range from an invocation by hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa to informal rap history are the album’s weak point, dragging the momentum and making the album seem eternally longer than its 51 minutes. Additionally, there’s a little too much deadweight on the album’s second half. But when he Teacher gets it right as on "You Gon Go” and on "Everybody Rise” where he’s joined by L Da Headtoucha on the mic and beat merchant Soul Supreme. Had this Swedish producer tossed more beats his way he may have been able to elevate the album’s serviceable yet unremarkable second half into a project that would rank with his finest hours; instead we are merely left with the tacit assurance of his continuing relevance. (Inebriated Rhythm)