By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Kool Keith is known by many names: Black Elvis, Ultra, Dr. Octagon and Dr. Dooom. What he's not known for is being your average MC.
Thirteen years ago, when the hot thing in hip-hop was flaunting your cars, money and jewelry, Keith, with the help of legendary underground producer and former Gorillaz member Dan the Automator, invented Dr. Octagon and released his album Dr. Octagonecologist to critical acclaim. But then, three years later, in a comic book-like turn of events, Keith created another character, Dr. Dooom, who went ahead and killed Octagon. It's out-there stuff, sure, but directly influenced acts like Deltron 3030 and Handsome Boy Modeling School, both of which took the absurdity Keith started and added in their own flair.
Still, the stories Keith created as Dooom weren't far off from what he was doing as Octagon—hence this tour, which seems to pit Dooom against Octagon in a performance setting.
Both Dr. Octagon and Dr. Dooom are equal parts science fiction, humor and off-kilter storytelling. (If you thought that Ol' Dirty Bastard had trouble making sense, the absurd stories in Keith's rhymes make ODB look like a Rhodes Scholar). Whether he's rapping about being born on Jupiter, gorillas throwing banana peels at his truck or space aliens, Keith always keeps his flow fresh and entertaining.