By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
A one-two punch of rap mayhem not for the faint of heart, the double bill of Kool Keith (pictured) and Esham is set to hit St. Louis like a disgusting ton of bricks. So get ready to be appalled/laugh your ass off while two of hip-hop's most, um, interesting performers keep it real (grody) as part of the Vans Warped Tour 2001.Kool Keith (of the Ultramagnetic MCs, Dr. Octagon, the Analog Brothers, etc.) is supporting his latest release, Spankmaster. This is the third in a recent trilogy of Kool Keith records that are basically really angry raps over really boring beats (Dr. Doom and Matthew are the preceding two).That said, these jammies still have enough hilariously bugged-out moments and analog synth burps to keep us on the old-school veteran's side. You just can't get mad at a guy who disses Kobe Bryant and other b-ball players-turned-shit-rappers (on "NBA"), no matter how boring his tracks are. And live -- well, the last time this correspondent saw him perform, Kool Keith and his crew threw fried chicken in Ziploc bags out to the crowd. When the crowd returned the favor, whipping the meat back onstage, Kool Keith said, "Don't waste that! That's good chicken!"
Esham is a whole different story. Probably rap's most prominent Satanist, Esham has been on some evil Detroit shit since Eminem was a Slim Baby. And although he may lack the verbose venom of Detroit's great white hope, Esham more than makes up for it with songs about eating babies, killing babies, killing people, eating people -- you get the idea. If MC Ren hopped an Air Iceland charter flight to go jam with Cradle of Filth, it might sound like this. Esham's currently on the road supporting his latest release, Tongues. The only thing unlikable about Esham is his affiliation with the extremely unlikable Insane Clown Posse, but we'll let that slide ('cause Esham might find us and kill us if we didn't).
Hip-hop needs a little edginess these days, even if the result is somewhat flawed. Given the enormous body of work between these two dudes, this bill is definitely going to be fun for your entire (dysfunctional) family. Enjoy!