In fact back in the 80's & 90's Kool Keith was Big Shot on ALL coasts. Even now in the noughties there is much demand for him as a guest MC, and not strictly limited to the Hip Hop genre either. The group hailing from the BX left a massive impression on the Hip Hop community, and their releases feature heavily on many collectors' Top 10 lists. I don't know a hip hopper that wasn't bugged out at some point by Keith's flamboyant if not psychotic lyrics. Or a beatmaker that wasn't inspired by the trademark ULTRA sound at some point. Ced Gee has since revealed that even while recording in the studio Keith would rattle off some bizarre rhymes from the domepiece that defied any kind of logical explanation. Coupled with Ultramagnetic's futuristic beat patterns courtesy of Ced, Moe, TR, and Paul C, they were beyond some next level shit.....I remember first hearing Ultras in '86/'87 and thinking "What the fuck is this futuristic sound??". I thought it was a rap group from the planet Mars or something! It was so different to ANYTHING else going on in Hip Hop at that time. Never before had beats been so cleverly chopped up and re-created into funky patterns. Even now I listen to the carefully crafted Critical Beatdown LP and still think to myself "how on earth did he chop the beats up like that??" Personally I don't believe Ultras ever improved on their incredible sound during the 1987/88 period. Tracks like "Ego Tripping", "Watch Me Now", and "Ease Back" are firmly secured a place in Hip Hop history. Hell, Kool Keith is now somewhat of a Hip Hop celebrity and recording artist supreme, and has done more collabo appearances on wax than I care to count.
Even after Critical Beatdown I kept a track of the crew from the Bronx and copped their other releases, and Poppa Large 12" was a worthy addition to the collection. It's not the Beatminerz Remix that gets me excited though, but the fact that this twelve inch has an accapella. It brings out my creative side.
Luckily this record was at hand whilst I was messin' with beats this week. I had been checking out a Conroy Library 10" for samples when these sinister stabs popped out! And the drums were procured from Johnny Rivers' "Blue Suede Shoes" LP a few moments later. A quick 2 minute flip on the Akai with Kool Keith lined up on the 1200s ready for the off.....and hey presto we have beats! I hope you dig it.
ULTRAMAGNETIC MC's - Poppa Large (Mad Drama RMX)