Kool A.D.
19


1.0
awful

Review

by Alex Robertson STAFF
February 9th, 2013 | 79 replies


Release Date: 02/07/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: fuck you victor vazquez

When Das Racist used to feature other rappers on their tracks, it was something of an embarrassment: fools like Kassa Overall and Fat Tony would get utterly schooled by Victor Vasquez (a.k.a. Kool A.D.) and Himanshu Suri (a.k.a. Heems) without even knowing it, their earnest boasts ablaze like ants under the magnifying glass-like glare of the duo’s pervasive irony. Calling Hima and Vic out on their public shaming of lesser rappers would be presumptuous, but a piece of withering hashtag rap like Kassa’s “‘Cause life’s a gamble / Russian roulette” was always going to look bad next to Das Racist’s all-encompassingly smart and hilarious verses.

But that was way back in 2010, and things have changed. First and foremost among these changes is the group’s split, not only saddening but also portentous: the two are now free to probe whatever paths of aesthetic interest they like, and 19, one of two mixtapes released on the same day by Kool A.D., proves that’s not always a good thing. With this mixtape, Victor Vazquez has fallen down the rabbit hole of dumb-rap, rendering a previously invigorating sense of humor and smarts utterly incapacitated and thanklessly vomiting up seventeen tracks that can only be described as braindead. Kool A.D., who just a few years ago would have run circles around lame guest rappers like Citizen Chance, now looks like a buffoon next to them.

Of course, anyone who’s been listening to Das Racist for the past few years knows that Kool A.D. is a smart dude and is aware of all this. Even on the still-potent Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man mixtapes, Vic dabbled in mind-numbing frivolity, letting rhymes dissolve in the midst of a punchline or talking straight-up nonsense. It worked because he limned it with some of the smartest, most self-aware rhymes you’d ever heard, busting open the restrictive “smart”/”dumb” dichotomy and having a lot of fun with it.

But where Vic’s smartness and his “dumb”-ness used to be like a Venn diagram composed of two circles constantly overlapping into each other, contending for dominance in consistently entertaining ways, now there lounges a globular monster of pathogenic idiocy, marked by constant shout-outs to Justin Bieber and Mad Lib rhymes (“Bitch I’m [insert celebrity]” is especially popular). Which, whatever: ha ha, Kool A.D. You “win”. Shit like this gets me angry because I know he can do better. Kool A.D. is, on this record, still a smart person playing dumb. But the game has enveloped him, so much so that the parody has become indistinguishable from the subject it is ostensibly aiming to lampoon. Separating his maybe-genuine interest in the scumsucking tendencies of Datpiff rap from his attempts at caricature is a pursuit I have no stomach for. I do not need to tell you about any one of these specific songs because they are all the exact fucking same. “All Skreets” has an okay, cloudy Keyboard Kid beat that Victor babbles over. “Marine World Africa USA” has an awful guest verse by its producer. Victor babbles some more. I think Victor namedrops David Foster Wallace at some point. The album ends on a production by the man himself, and it sounds like it was recorded with a Fisher Price microphone.

Which, once again: whatever. I understand that any reaction to this type of thing past just sort of brushing it off is heresy. After all, Victor is the poster boy for irony, or post-irony, or post-post-modernism or something. But this tendency to just say “meh” to everything that has ever happened ever--to rap, to celebrities, to mixtape culture, to criticism, to your fans, to the world--has now bent itself around and bit itself a huge chunk out of Victor’s ass, and now he’s being willingly shown up by a dude named “Cuzzo Fly”. As an avid Internet user who understands the exigencies of having an ironic persona, I get the game he's playing, and I know that the only dignified response to it is no response at all. But as a fan of Das Racist and of music that aspires to be something, I simply can’t forgive him for this shit.



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
2.3
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


seriosuly tho

ViperAces
February 9th 2013


12485 Comments


i like how this kicked m b v off the feautred section

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


hahahaha, right where it belongs

ViperAces
February 9th 2013


12485 Comments


how did it even got feautred so quick

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


i genuinely have no idea. who even has the power to feature things? just mods?

Buzzkillr
February 9th 2013


1541 Comments


yeah, he's basically trying to be lil b now, which is quite sad

gonna jam some das racist joints to mourn vic's current state

ViperAces
February 9th 2013


12485 Comments


i think so lol, but it was feautred with like 10 views so i really doubt a mod did it
its prob your contrib pwers

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


i think the worst part is it seems like he's passing it off as "making fun" of that type of stuff

i'm thinking of that part of "manny pacquiao"--which i actually enjoy, sorta--where he does the whole "cook, swag, knife, based" or whatever and then it morphs into "dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb"

but it's like he's trying to have it both ways and you just can't do that. you can't parody / be "better" than lil b et al. when now literally 100% of your music is like that now

Buzzkillr
February 9th 2013


1541 Comments


no, as far as I know das racist have always been fans of lil b and what he's doing so I'm pretty sure it's genuine

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


idk in light of das racist's whole career it's hard for me to remove that ironic distance vic places between him and his music. i think he can be a fan of lil b and still play that game

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


as well in light of 63 which i'm listening to now after writing this review in a cold sweat this seems sorta silly

63 is way better so far

Buzzkillr
February 9th 2013


1541 Comments


regardless of what he's trying to do, he really just sounds like a bad lil b impression at this point, and lil b's already pretty horrible to begin with

Gyromania
February 9th 2013


15962 Comments


now lounges a globular monster of pathogenic idiocy


lol! very entertaining read. good work.

elephantREVOLUTION
February 9th 2013


2780 Comments


i was just about to listen to this, now i kinda don't want to lol. i did enjoy heems' tapes though

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2013


50846 Comments


staff can feature lists but only mods can feature reviews

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


mods must know whats up

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2013


9064 Comments


Heems was always much better than Kool AD

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


28772 Comments


robertsona review but

i cannot neg

what

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2013


15063 Comments


yeah i was confused about that...apparently that privilege is now extended to contributors too? lame as shit

ibringyoufire
February 9th 2013


360 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

4 tracks in. Man oh man oh man. What the hell happened?

Digging: Mitski - Bury Me at Makeout Creek



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