Last Wednesday, Kool A.D. was bored and decided to release his new album, Word O.K, online. Back in December, he gifted those waiting for an official release date with an early Christmas present in the form of Not O.K., a mixtape containing a a collection of rough drafts that didn’t make it into the album. So you can go about this two ways: listen to Not O.K. again in case it’s been a minute, or go back to it after you hear the new LP. Either way you come to understand why he was not o.k. with Not O.K. and satisfied with Word O.K. ¡¿DID YOU SEE WHAT HE DID THERE?!
In this final draft, Kool A.D. creates a cohesive linear narrative that opens in down-to-earth optimism. A majority of the album’s production is handled by Toro Y Moi and Amaze 88, with guest spots from Talib Kweli, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Boots Riley, Sir DZL, and Santos Vieira, among others. Midway through, our boy slips into a trill, braggadocio-riddled deconstructed space with tracks like “Tight” and “Look,” darker songs that seem to be refocused from the more experimental sounds found in Not O.K. The album’s mood lifts back up on “The Front,” thanks to Toro Y Moi’s retrospective, conscious hip-hop instrumental. Kool A.D. can’t help but turn up a bit again to remind you why he’s the self-proclaimed best rapper in the world in “Specials Forces.” Just as it starts, the album returns to its senses in the title track. Then again, I could just be overanalyzing all of these tonteras.
All in all, Word O.K. is another solid addition to what we’ve come to expect from the former Das Racist MC. Name your price for this download available on his bandcamp. Watch the visuals for the album’s opening track, “Open Letter,” below.