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Kool Keith
Friday, February 4
8pm - midnight.
underground hiphop. abstract hiphop. avante garde. triphop.
all ages.
Main Room:

Kool Keith
Mophono (DJ Set)
Nebakaneza (MF Doom VJ Set)
You'll have to go pretty far to outweird Kool Keith, a rapper of some 58 alter egos, who for the last 35 years has stood at the front of the hiphop weirdstream. His style sounds beamed back from another planet, strange but not unknowable, an astral bedfellow of the metaphysical creativity of Sun Ra's cosmic jazz. Tellingly perhaps, when Keith told a journalist that he had spent time as a psychiatric patient in New York's Bellevue hospital - a story apparently invented out of boredom - it was widely believed.

Keith first came to prominence as a member of Ultramagnetic MCs, a revered New York group that was a riot of golden age-style dusty funk samples, heavyweight scratching, an outlandish rap style, with a metaphor-heavy polyrhythmic maze of scientific imagery

As Dr Octagon, Keith would cement himself as a rap legend. Relating the adventure of the titular doctor, a nightmarish surgeon/gynaecologist/half shark alligator + half man from Jupiter who performs rectal rebuilding surgery and relocates saliva glands. A surreal bad dream attack of consciousness that sounds like going under heavy gas.

Keith would later contribute to Prodigy's diamond selling The Fat of The Land album. Not only did Keith provide the vocals for Smack My Bitch Up, he was also the MC on Diesel Power. Kool Keith may actually make more sense in 2022 than he has at any other point in his career. It's not just that other rappers have bent to his weirded-out style and adopted his use of internal rhyme, but the growth of lyrical annotation sites such as Genius allows listeners to dissect his metaphor-heavy lyrics in a way that had been impossible for the majority of Keith's career.