Thursday, May 8, 2014

Octagon I

Man, Kool Keith is one fucking cool motherfucker. While other rappers were busy milking what was left of the weed bandwagon or trying to steal what scraps they could from 2Pac, Keith Thorton went against the grain and created a coolly fucked-up alter ego which had more in common with a 1960's Corman B-movie than what Jay-Z was quickly turning hip hop into. Having left the Ultramagnetic MC's a year earlier, one would assume Keith would follow in the footsteps of almost every other  newly solo rapper with a overly self-aggrandizing debut. Instead he did the absolute opposite - he hid behind the facade of an extraterrestrial time-traveling gynecologist, recruited scratch extraordinaire DJ Qbert and an unknown producer named Dan Nakamura (who would later gain fame working for the Gorillaz). The result is a trip-hop classic - nearly 20 years old and barely aged a day. Keith's rhymes are just as quasi-non-linear and fucked up as ever - delivered in that strangely smooth style of his (the American version of Slick Rick) while the beats are fresh and completely original. Think back to the first time you heard "Blue Flowers" and realized the guy was a fucking genius. Essential.

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