Artist: Ultramagnetic MC'sTitle: The Best Kept SecretRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Serge Fleury
For the eighties babies still in tune with their Hip-Hop roots, The Ultramagnetic MC's are not an unfamiliar name. The legendary foursome that brought us classics like "Traveling at the Speed" of Thought," "Mentally Mad," and "Watch Me Now" back in Hip-Hop's golden era, return in 2007 with Best Kept Secret (DMAFT Records). The original cast of Kool Keith, Ced Gee, Moe Love, and TR Love are all in attendance as they try and rekindle the flame that made them icons back in Hip-Hop's infancy.
The album starts off with "The Plaques," a song that sounds more like a freestyle session with unorthodox rhyming replacing formatted 16's and a hook that is poorly written and just as off beat. The production on "Late Nite Rumble" incorporates a nice bass line and quirky sound effects that keep your head nodding. But one listen to the lyrical content and you'll go from nodding your head to scratching your temple trying to figure out in what direction is Kool Keith actually headed.
"Ain't It Good To U" is one of the rare occasions where The Ultramags actually rhyme on beat, riding the track perfectly over a simple guitar riff. "Pop Bottles" and "Party Started" are the group's attempt at club hits, where the veterans take a page out of the book of modern day Hip-Hop, and rap about fancy named champagne and other stereotypical club scenarios. "Delta 2006" and "Mechanism Nice (Born Twice)" are the two shining points on the album where everything seems to come together.
In the end, Best Kept Secret is filled with off beat, predictable rhymes and stories of their glory years. This effort will no doubt be acceptable to longtime Ultramag devotees while the off kilter rhythms will satiate the Kool Keith followers. But if the four horsemen plan on capturing a new crowd, next time they should come with some more surprises.