Kool Keith is many MCs to many people. Some know him as the frontman of one of New York’s most respected and beloved groups, Ultramagnetic MCs. Many know him as Dr. Octagon, the alias he used for 1996’s Dr. Octagonecologyst album, which birthed the Nerdcore Hip Hop genre and launched the careers of DJ Q-Bert, Kutmasta Kurt, Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow. Yet others know him as either Black Elvis, Dr. Doom, Keith Korg, Dr. Nogatco, Mathew or The Spankmaster, depending on which of his many albums you’re talking about, under his many aliases, as part of his many groups. Whew!
Keith has collaborated with everyone from The Pretenders to Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Ice-T in the past, and releases more albums and side-projects than just about any MC alive. The man is a workhorse! And have no fear, he has even more albums under different names planned, just to keep ya guessing! Most recently though Keith teamed up again with frequent collaborator Kutmasta Kurt for Dr. Dooom 2, released Sept 23 on Threshold Records, the twisted sequel to his beloved Dr. Dooom effort. You should pick it up, as well as last year’s Ultramagnetic MCs reunion album, Best Kept Secret. Both are quite good.
Freestyle 101 was honored to have this legendary rapper stop by to drop The Engine Room in Hollywood for a videogame-themed rhyme over a slinky Lord G beat. Keith also chatted about his days in New York, and how The Bronx prepared him for the punches that hip hop and life continue to throw at him. There ain’t no place on earth like the Boogie Down and Keith talks intimately about his early days in hip hop amongst pioneers like Cold Crush Brothers and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. For all y’all who are used to seeing Keith as the zany guy in the bear and Elvis wig talking crazy talk, you will love this. This is Keith Thornton talking about being Kool Keith. It’s really interesting…
Freestyle 101 goes up at 9 a.m. PST (that’s noon over on the east) every Tuesday. Next week a special Halloween double feature with Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid! After that is Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog, Large Professor, M.O.P. affiliate Teflon, Hittman of Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001, People Under The Stairs, and many more. Make sure to dig our behind the scenes photos, visit us on MySpace, and rant in our Forums. And if you dug Kool Keith, check out Del the Funky Homosapien, Murs, MC Frontalot and Ice-T.