Ultra
Big Time


4.0
excellent

Review

by griff USER (2 Reviews)
December 27th, 2016 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kool Keith and Tim Dog are absolutely disgusted by the fact that wack rappers continue to exist. They made an album to tell you about it.

'Big Time' is an album that has one of the least complicated themes of any Kool Keith project: Kool Keith and Tim Dog are better rappers than you, they have more diamonds and money than you, the rap industry is wack, and you should stop biting their style. While most other acclaimed Kool Keith records deal with concepts such as eating tampons, outer space abortions, and having his German Shepherd give you an orgasm, Big Time is essentially an album of battle raps and disses over great production by Kutmaster Kurt. Rapping alongside Kool Keith is Tim Dog -- a fellow Bronx battle rapper and past Ultramagnetic MC's collaborator. This was the last album Keith released before taking on multiple different pseudonyms and solidifying his reputation as one of hip-hop's most interesting characters. It's an often overlooked album that seems to have been buried beneath the success of his earlier works and the albums that immediately followed. It also stands among his best and should be mentioned with his other classics.

The first song, Super Luv, starts with an "interview" asking why Keith always uses words like anal, rectum, doo-doo, and pee-pee. He responds with "Because that's what the whole fuckin' rap industry is". He raps for 3 minutes straight about why every other rapper is terrible and how he'll fix this problem. The track is fantastic and does a great job foreshadowing the basic theme and mood of the entire record. Kutmaster Kurt is in top form as well, combining very clean production with dark, textured synths over boom-bap style drum loops.

After this is a string of tracks featuring both Keith and Tim Dog, all about -- again-- how every other rapper is garbage and how they are actually the only rappers who are not garbage. Tim Dog is a great rapper in his own right and does a good job complimenting Keith's more abstract style. All of these follow the same formula of Keith and Tim taking turns shitting on rappers, with Kurt providing great production. The track 'Big Time' features production from P-I-RE-X and has more of a west-coast feel to it, but the subject matter remains the same. These songs do a great job accomplishing the goal of calling out wackness and at this point I'm convinced that I should give up rapping.

Private Eyes takes a spaced out, west-coast, booty jam detour and ends up being a highlight of the album. The lyrics are about a voyeuristic Keith taking pictures of women in g-strings through their apartment windows. It's super weird and is somewhat of a precursor to his "pornocore" style that he adopted on his album Sex Style the following year. It's unsettling and interesting at the same time. This is the second track with production by P-I-RE-X and it feels like it could be on any number of classic records from California in the early 90's. I imagine some weird strip club DJ has played this at 3 in the afternoon before, to much success.

The back half of this album mirrors the beginning, Tim and Keith trading battle rhymes with the occasional solo Keith song. Motion Man provides a frantic feature on 'Ain't Nobody Happenin' but it's short and overshadowed by strong verses from Tim and Keith. Strong production throughout ties everything together. Bizarre is another stand out track, with maybe the most abstract lyrics on the entire album and weird almost auto-tuned vocals that are kinda interesting in the context of modern hip-hop.

'Big Time' is a solid record that has been overlooked by many, including fans of Kool Keith. It does suffer from a lack of variety that and there are tracks like Private Eyes that might turn off the people who just want to hear battle raps. It is however, one of my favorite projects Keith did-- I feel like it really plays to his strengths without getting lost in the ridiculous concepts he has tried over and over again over the past ~20 years. Just angry and weird bars about wack rappers over good beats.


user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
pjorn
December 27th 2016


4364 Comments


great album that gets hella slept on. First review ever that wasn't just two sentences on rym, feedback would be appreciated. Probably a little too long and the ending is weak but idk.

pjorn
December 28th 2016


4364 Comments


edited it a little bit.

I'm hoping I can get some of yall to check this record out, surprised it only has two ratings tbh

Archelirion
December 30th 2016


5610 Comments


Fun review, pos'd. This typically isn't my sort of thing but I was tempted to try a track out and see what I made of it (Private Eyes) - 90s as fuck. I enjoyed it, surprisingly :3

pjorn
December 30th 2016


4364 Comments


thanks man! private eyes is probably the one track that is the least like any of the others, but its a fun record of just two dudes being mad at other rappers.

pjorn
January 6th 2017


4364 Comments


shameless bump for more criticism and for more people to listen to this record

EphemeralEternity
April 6th 2017


3138 Comments


review is tighter than a fishes anoos my man, gotta check this too

pjorn
April 6th 2017


4364 Comments


lol ye check it bro

Drifter
July 23rd 2017


14754 Comments


For the first time like ever a review actually makes me interested in an album. Will check

pjorn
July 25th 2017


4364 Comments


Word man thanks, lemme know what you think of it!



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