Kool A.D., 51

Blake Gillespie

Kool A.D. 51

Das Racist promised three solo mixtapes in 2012. Kool A.D. and Heems struck early in the first quarter, while Dapwell is still silent – which is not much of a surprise since he's the least smack talkingest of the trio.

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Kool A.D.'s The Palm Wine/Drinkard was “hammered and horny” over Miami Booty-Bass, which left us a bit off-put. After a trip to Cuba to see family, Kool A.D. sought further refuge in the Bay Area. If The Palm Wine/Drinkard suggested that Kool was drunk and lonely, the 51 mixtape is Kool getting his life together after surrounding himself with family and friends. NYC insularity can be a motherfucker, but a stint in the Bay Area will fix all of that. Released through Mishka, 51 features a rejuvenated Kool A.D. alongside Amaze 88 and Trackademics for a majority of the tape. The tape was recorded with love for and from California, as the tape features a guest list almost exclusively from the Bay Area and includes Boots Riley of The Coup.

From Amaze 88's “51 Intro”, the tape is invites us into a G-Funk bounce that opens up the windows for the duration. On “La Pinata” he's laughing through his braggadocio, taking great pride in his various examples of being half-this-half-that, which include Black Bart Simpson, half-black Bill Clinton, Jewish Eddie Murphy in a barbershop, Jewish Mel Gibson, and Drake vs. Common – all which sums up to “who cares”. The production from Amaze 88 injects 51 with play ful soul and movement that allows Kool A.D. to slip into meditative tangents of tight bars and in the next breath, goof around listing the family affair that's in the studio with him and wish that we understood its significance. The difference between Kool A.D. on 51 versus his previous tape is all the proof needed to understand.

Download 51 here.

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