Kool A.D. has never been shy about toying with different art forms to express himself, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Cuban MC has dropped a sprawling soundtrack to accompany his forthcoming debut novel O.K. (set to be released via Sorry House in spring 2016). What you might not expect, however, is that said soundtrack would be 100 songs long – one for each chapter of the book.
While the word “cohesive” might be a tenuous way of describing this much material, it seems to fit what the Oakland-bred A.D. recently told Secret served as inspiration for the novel (everything from “the guilt of ‘first world’ privilege” to “pornography”). Comprised of previously released material (like “Jackson Pollock” and “2 Late”), freestyles over tracks by the likes of Jidenna and T-Pain and brand new songs, the set ranges from disarmingly impromptu to well-thought-out missives, with A.D.’s signature playful delivery and comic ad-libs. Toro y Moi, Killer Mike, and Mellow Man Ace also make contributions.
Narrowing down favorites would probably do such a large project an injustice, but there are standout tracks here that no doubt deserve mention: “Dum Diary,” “The Actual,” a collaboration with Talib Kweli, and “#BlackBrunch,” one of the many posse cuts with Amaze 88, Kassa, and Chaz Van Queen, stick out as worthy of many repeat spins.
There’s also the title cut, which samples the Downtown Abbey theme song of all things, and recently got the music video treatment featuring a dapper A.D. on the beach using liquor and a bit of cash to start a guitar bonfire.
You can stream and also purchase the giant offering via Kool A.D.’s Bandcamp page now.