Kool G Rap is one of the most underrated rappers of all time, especially with regard to lyricism. As a former member of the legendary Juice Crew of Queensbridge with Big Daddy Kane and others, Kool G Rap became a local and international star.
As one of the biggest names in New York during the 1980s, Kool G Rap brushed shoulders with the city’s best MCs, including the likes of LL Cool J and KRS-One. Not a one-trick pony, aside from being an MC, he was a songwriter, DJ and music producer, giving the artist the keys to the city as the most versatile rapper around.
However, Kool G Rap was more respected on the underground and was somewhat shunned by the mainstream. While his fellow crew member, Big Daddy Kane, would become one of the highest-selling rappers of the 1980s, Kool G Rap, in a duo with DJ Polo, would release music to vast amounts of acclaim from underground hip hop figureheads but would fail to break into the mainstream.
As the Queensbridge legend he is, Kool G Rap never lost his passion for hip hop music. In fact, it only grew stronger, and as he entered the 1990s, a local rapper from his neighbourhood began to catch his eye, and in 1995 he ended up working with this rapper.
This rapper was Nas, and in a similar way to how Jaz-O helped Jay-Z, Kool G Rap sought to help Nas. With the help of Kool G Rap, by 1995, fresh off the back of his 1994 Illmatic album, Nas was one of the biggest artists in New York. In return for all of the help, in 1995, Nas featured on a song with his old friend Kool G Rap, and together they made a song called ‘Fast Life’.
The track was a lyrical, tongue-twisting masterpiece. Produced by Buckwild, the producer for the Diggin’ In The Crates crew, which birthed Fat Joe and Big L, ‘Fastlife’ told the story of life in Queensbridge and became the second single for Kool G Rap’s 1995 album 4,5,6.
You can hear the amazing isolated vocals for ‘Fastlife’ in the video below, which showcases nothing but pure lyricism.