Artist: Kool G Rap
Representing: The Juice Crew, Queens
Independent Album: Half a Klip
411: Here's a little-known Kool G Rap fact: The first verse of "Men at Work" and his guest spot on "The Symphony" were originally written as one long, angst-driven rhyme. Clearly, he was in a zone at the time.

But KGR declares he's even better today than he was in the golden era of rap.

"G Rap is so current, you could mix me up with anybody in 2008 and I'mma sound relevant and up to the times," he said, sitting in his Queens studio.

Although he took a long break from recording, G Rap told us that he isn't done. He just released an EP called Half a Klip with production from DJ Premier, Domingo and Juice Crew partner Marley Marl.

"I'm still working on the project, and it's gonna be the full-length album," he said. "But it's been a long wait. The last thing I did was in 2005. I dropped a mixtape with Whoo Kid. I wanted to hit them with an appetizer to keep the stomach growls alive.

"It's hard, but not hard, because at the same time, I was working," he added about his hiatus. "I must have a collection of 50-60 songs. We're gonna put this Half a Klip out there, let it do what it do, then hit them with the Full Extended Klip.



Joints To Check For

»"With a Bullet." "Me and Marley, the song we did together basically was a throwback rhyme," G Rap explained. "It was a throwback verse I had, something I had with Nas years ago, like '92, '93. ... We have one of the dudes we're working with featured on the song, giving him a little light. They found a verse from somewhere. I don't know how they got it. But there's a lot of people out here that got stuff — you wouldn't believe, that I wouldn't believe — on me."

»"On the Rise Again." "DJ Premier laid a crazy track to it. My man D-Mac, the guy who I'm partnered with, ran into Haylie Duff and got her to blow vocals through the chorus. It's not a whole lot, but it's just right. The way Premier put it together was a masterpiece.

"I heard [Haylie] wasn't really up on Kool G Rap, but her managers and people she worked with schooled her on who Kool G Rap was," he added. "I'm aware of the Duff sisters. Of course, her sister Hilary Duff is a household name. I didn't know her [older] sister did the same thing too. I guess we discovered each other through this project."

»"100 Rounds." "That's just me going in," he said. "Coming out that street mode and putting it in lyric mode. It's traditional G Rap right there."