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Kool Keith

After single-handedly redefining "warped" as the mind and mouth behind the Bronx-based Ultramagnetic MC's, "Kool" Keith Thornton -- aka Rhythm X, aka Dr. Octagon, aka Dr. Dooom, aka Mr. Gerbik -- headed for the outer reaches of the stratosphere with a variety of solo projects. A onetime psychiatric patient at Bellevue, Keith's lyrical thematics remained as free-flowing here as they ever were with the N.Y. trio, connecting up complex meters with fierce, layers-deep metaphors and veiled criticisms of those who "water down the sound that comes from the ghetto." His own debut single, "Earth People" by Dr. Octagon, was quietly released in late 1995 on the San Francisco-based Bulk Recordings, and the track spread like wildfire through the hip-hop underground, as did the subsequent self-titled full-length released the following year.

Featuring internationally renowned DJ Q-Bert (of Invisibl Skratch Piklz) on turntables, as well as the Automator and DJ Shadow behind the boards, Dr. Octagon's left-field fusion of sound collage, fierce turntable work, and bizarre, impressionistic rapping found audiences in the most unlikely of places, from hardcore hip-hop heads to jaded rock critics. Although a somewhat sophomoric preoccupation with body parts and scatology tended to dominate the album, Keith's complex weave of associations and shifting references is quite often amazing in its intricacy. The record found its way to the U.K.-based abstract hip-hop imprint Mo'Wax (for whom Shadow also recorded) in mid-1996, and was licensed by the label for European release (Mo'Wax also released a DJ-friendly instrumental version of the album titled, appropriately, The Instrumentalyst [Octagon Beats]).

The widespread popularity of the album eventually landed Keith at DreamWorks in 1997; the label gave Dr. Octagon (retitled Dr. Octagonecologyst) its third release mid-year, adding a number of bonus cuts. In early 1999, however, Keith's alter ego Dr. Dooom unfortunately "killed off" Dr. Octagon on the opening track of First Come, First Served (released on Thornton's own Funky A** label). Kool Keith signed to Ruffhouse/MCA for his second album under that alias, 1999's Black Elvis/Lost in Space. Records released as Kool Keith followed in 2000 (Matthew) and 2001 (Spankmaster), while the 2002 collaboration Gene appeared as KHM (Kool Keith plus H-Bomb and Marc Live). His next project was a four-rapper group named Thee Undatakerz with Keith taking on a new persona, Reverand Tom. Kool Keith Presents Thee Undatakerz hit the streets in May 2004. Keeping busy, Keith released Diesel Truckers in August of the same year with old friend/producer KutMasta Kurt.

As if 2004 hadn't been filled with enough Kool Keith releases, some truly oddball ones started to appear that year. The Official Space Tape borrowed from previous releases to create the ultimate Keith mixtape, the R&B-leaning Personal Album was released in a limited edition of 500 and with a high price tag, plus the Real Talk label issued Dr. Octagon, Pt. 2, an unauthorized release that had little to do with the original and was quickly pulled from the shelves by court order. The next year was much calmer with the Global Enlightenment, Pt. 1 DVD being released at the beginning of the year, followed by Lost Masters, Vol. 2 in the summer. Nogatco Rd. from 2006 introduced a new character, Mr. Nogatco ("Octagon" backward). The UFO-obsessed album was a collaboration with producer Iz-Real. The two-CD Collabs Tape compilation and The Return of Dr. Octagon followed soon after. In early 2007, Keith was part of a Ultramagnetic MC's reunion that yielded Best Kept Secret. Tashan Dorrsett, another concept-driven release from Keith, was released in 2009. ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Looks like Terry Crews in that photo...
Undatakerz & Pimp To Eat.
Daniel Gomez likes to lay face down on his floor and toss sausages in the air to catch em with his buttcheeks. Need to recognize the real.
DR.STRANGE
KOOL KEITH CRAZYSHIT ALLDAY ONE LUV!!!!!!!!! ! ! !
Saw him years ago in Cincinnati. Came on stage wearing a super hero outfit, including cape. Had fake plastic hair on and his head was in a fish bowl. Half way through the show he called for a chicken break and his crew ran on stage with boxes. They started throwing Capri Sun and baggies of chicken wings into the crowd. Unbelievable .
Black Elvis and Dr Octagon two of my favorite hip hop albums of all time
Im saying sex style can take a f**king pepsi challenge to any other hip hop album. Only reason i take it out is to bump outkast or liquid swords
Dam this is so COLD
I find it humorous how these FOOLS have the nerve/disres p e c t enough to call someone with the longevity that KK has had with a repertoire as extensive and deep as his, either untalented, or even wack, or any other such insulting adjective they're obviously just repeating some bullshit they heard someone else before themselves already say, when they personally have not a single album of their own majestic, talent-laden work in rotation, anywhere on the globe, yet somehow, feel so entitled to badmo
Kool Keith and Phoenix Orion should do an album together. Would be the S**T!!!!
Love it
He needs to get with deltron 3030 for at least one album!!!
I guess yo havent hhhheard shhhhit
Kool keith is smooth as f**k when he does shows. This emcee is on some ill s**t. Its funny how corny wanabe hip hopas try and talk the talk. Its different than u think kid, u seem regular...NO R - C A L ALL DAY,,,BURN IT,,,
Weakest mc I ever heard
This n**ga is out there and i love it
Pioneer king pin captain black spankmaster f**k commercial rappers respect kool Keith robots
Unique and funny but best mc? Put down the pipe. Totally unimpressive live act. But u can't go wrong with halfsharkall i g a t o r h a l f m a n
The Girls Don't Like The Job is my motivation as a manager. It should be for every manager. Listen to this on the way to work on the day you have to fire someone.
thats cuz record execs are b**ches and bite keiths style then try to duplicate with their monkeys out frontin. they homosexuals yo. get this straight; keith lost fame cuz he told em 'no, i dont dance for peanuts'. its those same b!tches who are squeezing pandora for money to pay their no class, no talent, fabricated, strategic marketing peons. there u have it... KOOL KEITH THORNTON is on another level.. dont try to comprehend tho... he is just the best MC in the world
Is that a photo of LL Cool J?
"the patient at bellvue" thing is a rumor disputed on his own wiki page.
KHM
Pretty much the artist who got me into underground hip hop. Brilliant
LOL.... yeah that does NOT look like Kool Keith at all pictured up there
I use to be the biggest Keith fan but he seriously fell off, worked with a bunch of bullshit producers, fell into a predictable rhyme and cadence style that is a cliche of himself and he stagnated. He has yet to recover, even on the new one with Kurt. AND he no showed a concert I drove 100 miles to see. Stick with Dr. Dooom, Black Elvis, and Matthew, and some of Spankmaster and Deisel Truckers. Everything else is garbage.
Keith is Hip-Hop. The beats, the DJ's he chooses, the original lyrics and the different alter-ego's and unique themes he chooses to rhyme about are in a class of their own. At first, most wont like him. They think it too " out-of-range " as he said on his, Mr. Nogacto, which is Octagon spelled backwards. He does stuff like this, with his different names, and styles. Its all KK though. Original, insane, mis-understo o d , and from another planet..
original.... . . . ! w h a t can i say that he can not say for himself..... < 0 8 > . !
not to mention the analog brothers, masters of illusion and project polaroid are some sick a$$ albums!
class all his own
at least dudes original

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