Ice-T and Kool Keith, also known as the Analog Brothers, take rap fans on a journey through laser beams and electronic soundscapes on Pimp To Eat, which hits record stores Tuesday.
"The Analog Brothers are way out there," Ice-T said last month.
On the album, Ice-T (born Tracy Morrow), Kool Keith (born Keith Thorton) and Pimp Rex take on the aliases Ice the Oscillator, Keith Korg and Rex Roland JX3P. Joined by rappers Mark Moog and Black Silver, they spew rhymes over eerie synthesizer chords.
Ice-T said Pimp To Eat is as abstract as Kool Keith's 1996 album Dr. Octagonecologyst (released under the name Dr. Octagon).
"We did an album similar to that," he said. "It's like five people doing that sh--, and it's bananas. It's not normal hip-hop."
The first single, "2005" (RealAudio excerpt), is a battle rap that melds "Star Wars" images with observations about street pimping over a club-worthy bassline.
Pimp To Eat was slated for release July 4, but the masters of Kool Keith's vocals were stolen during the melee that followed the Indiana Pacers–Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship basketball game June 19 in Los Angeles, according to Ice-T and the duo's label, Nu Gruv Alliance. That delayed the album until this week.
Ice-T and Kool Keith have rap careers that stretch back to the 1980s. One of the first rappers to spit out gangsta rhymes, Ice-T rose to fame after his debut, Rhyme Pays (1987), and such movie-soundtrack hits as "New Jack Hustler" (1991) and "Colors" (RealAudio excerpt) (1988). Kool Keith started as a member of the Ultramagnetic MCs before winning acclaim for his solo work.
The veteran rappers also have solo albums on store shelves. Ice-T's greatest-hits album, Greatest Hits: The Evidence was released Aug. 8 with the new single "Money, Power, Women" (RealAudio excerpt). Kool Keith, who has used several stage aliases, released Matthew this month.
Ice-T said he doesn't care if rap fans embrace the Analog Brothers' experimentation.
"My core fan is me," he said. "I rap to a cat across the table who looks like me. And listens to sh-- like me. So whatever I like, I make."