KITT's album cover: "Turbo Boost 2K5"

After decades of being labeled a sidekick, KITT says he’s his own car

It seems like only yesterday that dashing David Hasselhoff and his trusty talking car KITT were wisecracking their way through their crime-fighting adventures, or using the “Turbo Boost” button to leap over some conveniently-placed ramp, bridge or tractor trailer.

But those days are long gone. Hasselhoff has gone on to further screen stardom in “Baywatch” and “Ring of the Musketeers” and a phenomenally successful European singing career… all without his longtime sidekick.

Now KITT is back – and, tired of being called the “Andrew Ridgeley of ‘Knight Rider,'” he’s releasing a new hip-hop CD in which he calls out Hasselhoff in no uncertain terms.

“You’ll get your a** whipped
If you look for a fight
Cause you was the Rider
And I was the Knight
And when we throw down
I’ll make it your last
Cause you can’t spell Hasselhoff
without the word ‘a**'”

KITT is no less blunt in public. At a recent meet-and-greet in Green Lake, the car told reporters and fans that the feud between himself and Hasselhoff was “100 percent real.”

“It’s time I had my say, y’all,” KITT said, in a from-the-streets voice nothing like the crisp elocution he was known for on “Knight Rider.” “That dude, he disrespected me. He wants to go off to Germany and be a bigshot? I ain’t gonna play that way. I’m legit. I ain’t no leather-jacket phony.”

KITT makes no bones about his bitterness over the “Knight Rider 2000” TV movie, in which his character (also called KITT) was replaced by a red sports car, KIFT, who eventually turns evil and has his personality replaced with KITT’s. While Hasselhoff has claimed the story was designed to showcase KITT as a “white knight” among artificially intelligent crime-fighting vehicles, KITT claims it was jealousy. “Man, he knew I was more popular with the peoples than he was. He knew that. So he axed the producers to keep me off that show.” KITT says he took the role “for the money, cause David was blacklisting me.”

KITT’s new CD, “Turbo Boost 2K5,” spends a lot of time hassling Hasselhoff, accusing him of petty backstage politics (in “Nobody Holds KITT Back”), going soft (“I Ain’t Hook’d on Dat Feelin'”) and, bizarrely, mass murder (in “Bodiez in the Junkyard.”). But he also explores new musical territory, mixing hip-hop with Afro-Cuban beats in the catchy “El Auto Increible” and matching rhymes with Avril Lavigne on the alternative-tinged “We Are The Light.” And no KITT record would be complete without a shout-out to his old nemesis, KARR (“I hope you still diggin’ that beach sand/cause that’s where my great plan/left you on your ugly can”)

While Hasselhoff has made no public comment about the record, critics say “Turbo Boost 2K5” could be a breakout for KITT. Music critic Jim French’s review in the Green Lake Flagbearer calls it “groundbreaking… KITT lays down beats better than any talking car in the industry today.”

KITT is embarking on an extensive tour to support the new album, with an up-and-coming group of hip-hop Ferraris known as Thug Wheelz slated to open the shows. He’ll perform in Appleton next month.

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