Kool Keith with Kutmasta Kurt | Reggies’ Rock Club | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: 2009
Price: $20
Popular music has produced few personalities as compelling and confoundingly bizarre as Keith Thornton—aka Kool Keith, Dr. Octagon, Black Elvis, and Dr. Dooom, to name only the most famous of his busload of alter egos. Throughout his career his popularity has undergone massive surges and precipitous declines, but by now he has a cult that won’t desert him no matter what. His beyond-next-level wordplay, unbound by conventions of rhythm, meter, and rhyme, would sound crazy if it weren’t for his cool lucidity—you get the feeling that everything makes perfect sense according to whatever fifth-dimensional protocol he’s following. He’s rapped with equal conviction as a computer and a sex freak, proving himself a language artist capable of Joycean abstraction and a hedonistic materialist with a supernatural appetite for jewelry and pornography. He’s released genre-defining classics like 1996’s Dr. Octagonecologyst, and his name’s been slapped on shady hack jobs like 2006’s The Return of Dr. Octagon, which he disavowed immediately. The beats on The Return were by no-names who’d never met him, but on last year’s Dr. Dooom 2 (Threshold) they’re by longtime comrade-in-arms Kutmasta Kurt, who joins him for this show. Thornton originally disposed of Octagon in ’99, on the first Dooom record, and he responds to the character’s ignominious “return” by killing him again—on Dr. Dooom 2 he runs through a hilariously gruesome laundry list of depravities, relishing every detail. —Miles Raymer



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