Key Kool and DJ Rhettmatic - Kozmonautz

Originally Posted On
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Before the success of what would be known as the megagroup The Visionaries Kikuo Nishi & Nazreth Nizra better known as Key Kool & DJ Rhettmatic joined forces to produce an album in 1995.

It is indeed a treat to go back into history to hear the beginnings of legends. This is one album for your collection.

With this album Key & Rhett brought that funky west coast underground Hip Hop sound to the masses.This album was that shot in dark, that spark, that lit the west coast underground Hip Hop scene on fire.

Before this album's release the west coast Hip Hop scene was in a little daze and directionless. With all the "mc's" in southern California area trying to be studio gangstas. It was rare to hear a mc spit something not involving killin somebody. B Boys like Zulu Gremlin and old school DJ's like Rob One and Mark Luv were still doing their things respectively. But since 1990 culturally Hip Hop was different. It lost some of that communal feeling.

Behind the scenes things were to starting to formulate. "Turntablism" came on the scene. Graf Writer Hex opened his Hip Hop shop, he even got a little shine in Kid Frost's La Raza video, and there was more B Boys than previous years. Hip Hop Fashion/record store Beat Non Stop (now renamed the Temple Of Boom) opened up as well. However there no direction to unify the west coast Hip Hop scene. Until this album arrived at a time when everything was falling into place for a west coast Hip Hop revival.

I remember first hearing "Can U Hear It?", The first single from the album, in a mix by DJ Icy Ice on 92.3 the Beat (I still have this mix on cassette) back in 1995. It was different than what he was playing but yet it fit and I remember listening to words and thinking the emcee was on point. I searched for this song and found it was track by DJ Rhettmatic from The Beat Junkies and unknown emcee named Key Kool.

Key Kool's verbal skill at the time was in it's infancy as compared to other MC's in now classic song "E=Mc5" (the b side of "Can U Hear It?" 12 inch). However, on this album he was able to produce a well respected and received song "Reconcentrated". Especially amongst the Asian community and surprising academia.
Key-Kool's lyrical thesis on the incarceration of Japanese in America during World War II, Reconcentrated, has been used in classrooms of such prestigious universities such as NYU, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Loyola University Chicago, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Irvine, UC Davis, to name a few.

The overall sound of this release is a mixture of early 90's Hip Hop and what can now can be known as the west coast underground Hip Hop sound. Some of songs will remind you of the subdued sounds of The Beatnuts (especially of the remixes on "The Spot")

DJ Rhettmatic's cuts, of course, are on point throughout this release. But sadly there isn't any DJ tracks like Lacerations on the Visionaries "Pangaea" album.

However on this release there is the very first appearance of the members of what would known as the Visionaries on the entitled song "Visionaries (Stop Actin Scary)".

This album is special for us on the west coast and especially southern California. This release gave a soundtrack to what could be and what eventual would be.

Young Hip Hoppas producing and releasing their own music. People not owned and controlled by the major labels and who had a REAL connection to local Hip Hop culture. This paved the way for Rock the Bells,We The People & Paid Dues Festivals. As well as a host of new Hip Hop groups like Jurassic 5 and The Black Eyed Peas. It paved the way for many Hip Hop events around the west coast. Back in them days having a choice of more than two Hip Hop events to attend on any given weekend was a rarity. This made a statement that Hip Hop culture wasn't dead. It was still alive and well and thriving.

With all the things happening in that era it was a matter of time before something would come along and sparked the scene but as fate would have it it was this duo and album that made people take notice and move into one direction. Hip Hop for us by us.

Can U Hear It?

Key Kool & DJ Rhettmatic
Kozmonautz (1995) |80 MB|


Big Kozmonautz
Wreck N' Destroy (Non Believers Get Stomped)
Brain Swell
Can U Hear It?
Afta Hours 5/19/95
Be A Hoodlum
Head Trip
Visionaries (Stop Actin' Scary)
Lyrical Md's
E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical)
Sexually Repressed
Just Into My Music
Kik Yo Kan
Shape Shiftaz
Head Trip (Remix)


The Dynamic Hamza 21®

Hip Hop since 1982.

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