Artists like Kool A.D. don’t come along daily. Dude makes you laugh - at him, with him, chuckle under your breath. He takes hip-hop music, and himself, not at all seriously, yet he is his own real deal. Lyrics are stream-of-consciousness from the not-so-sober comedian.

But when the weed smoke clears and the hangover lifts, the listener gets a glimpse of verbal images that challenge pop culture and political posturing alike. Listen close and catch references that hop decades and coasts. Follow his narrative and find reason to celebrate; the party in Kool A.D.’s head is better than it looked from the street. Kool A.D. easily mashes comedy and hip-hop into heady art.

The demise of hip-hop’s favorite funny-man team, Das Racist, left its members with time off from the messy debauchery of its live shows. Freed from the grind of churning out hits like “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” the duo and its entourage made space for new silly. Heems embarked on solo shows, wowing Manila and Shanghai with his brand of hip hop-haha. Ashok became a DJ personality and TV host of Chillin Island, and Lakutis turned out his own hits like “Ay Shawty,” a duet with Florida’s Kitty.

Victor Vasquez became Kool A.D., combining his NYC-honed flow with Bay Area roots, he collaborates with Oakland’s Toro y Moi and Del the Funkee Homosapien. A new record, Word O.K. comes out in 2014, while this month gives us a spanking new mix-tape of extra tracks that didn’t make the record, titled Not O.K.

 
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