Kool Keith's Bits & Pieces
At Kool Keith's show at the Black Cat on Thursday night, the rapper's hypeman announced that "anything can happen at a Kool Keith show." The prolific, weird, free-associative MC (backed by DJ KutMasta Kurt) more than made good on the claim.
Keith passed out copies of both a British adult magazine and his rare self-release, "The Commi$$ioner." He also repeatedly addressed the women in the house -- all 10 or so of them -- and seemed surprised to learn that they don't turn out in huge numbers for Kool Keith.
The concert was billed as an appearance of Dr. Octagon, one of Keith's many alter egos, but he didn't plug his new album, "The Return of Dr. Octagon," giving credence to Internet rumors that the 2006 OCD Records disc is not an "authorized" release but a knockoff of an upcoming project that teams Keith with producer Fanatik-J.
Adding to the fun-house feel, Keith presented a lot of his music in jarring snippets. Some tracks from his time as an Ultramagnetic MC ("Funky" and "Ease Back") and 1996's "Dr. Octagonecologyst" ("Blue Flowers" and "Girl Let Me Touch You") were performed in their entirety. But then Keith began tossing off tidbits of his spaced-out, beat-heavy material like a human CD sampler.
"There are songs I don't even know I did," Keith said, explaining why a whirlwind retrospective was needed to cover his gigantic catalogue. "I'll get on your pop's album, your grandmother's, brother's, Mickey Mouse's album. I'll rhyme on any album, just to keep it goin'." The format gave fans various tastes of their favorite Keith stuff, but the measly sound bites weren't satisfying, even when supplemented with take-home treats of free music and porn.
-- Sarah Godfrey