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1 January, 1999@12:00 am

The Doctor is in, but it’s not the one you think. This mysterious new characater project begins with an emergency page for the good Dr. Octagon to tend to patient with rabies. Instead what he finds is his angry, pistol packing, evil alter-ego, who tells him “Take two of these and call me in the motherfucking morning, I’m Dr. Dooom,” who proceeds to buck ‘em buck ‘em down.

Welcome to Kool Keith’s latest creation. But why the sudden hostility to Dr. Octagon? Word is that he had major difficulties with Automator, the producer behind the Octagon project, claiming that he wasn’t paid royalties after they signed with Dreamworks, and that Dan The Automator even went on to try to do a new Octo album, without Kool Kieth.

So Dr. Dooom is just Octagon with a different name than, right? Yes and no. There is a difference between the two physitions. While Octagon was a practicing cosmic rhyme styles of the year 3000, Dooom is a frustrated, cannabalistic, ghetto purist, enemy of the wack, and anti-industry activist. While not an official follow up to the Dr. Octagon album, the production, handled by Kutmasta Kurt, still brings the spacey, sticky, off key sound that the Automator was credited with. While the precise cuts of DJ Q-Bert are missed, Kurt still does a wonderful job of recreating the sound that helped fashion Keith’s style on some of his earlier solo works. Best demonstrated on tracks like “I Run Rap”, and “Body Bag”, the “Diesel Truckers” concoct more of those eerie tracks that give you the feeling that something just isn’t right.

20 tracks deep, Keith has a lot to say with his latest release. While his cryptic, emcee cannabalism style may be gibberish to some, when examined throroughly, he’s delivering creative, confident, and humorous battle raps. It almost seems as if he approaches battle rhymes with a sense that dope similies and metaphors are no competition to that of “It don’t have to be fourth of July for your rectum to see fireworks”, or “While ya’ll talk gangsta, I push body parts in shopping carts.” I mean really….no matter how dope you might be, what can you do when Keith says to you, “You couldn’t rap with me if we was twins stuck together, / you’d be the deformed one… catchin’ a warm one. / I’ll pay a crackhead five dollars to fuck up you million dollar marketing plan / with a brand new sub-machine gun / and a hot dog on a yankee stadium bun.” (“Dr. Doom Is In the Room”) Off beat? Difficult rhyme arrangements? Just plain wierd? Sure, but how are you going to top something that off the wall?

And as if the twisted choice of vocabulary wasn’t sickening and shocking enough, like usual, Keith calls out whoever is on his shit list, not afraid to point the finger at anyone. Lines like “When I see Flex, I’ma ask him why he’s playing a lotta records from a bunch of homos”, and “You wack nigga! Tryin’ to act large in a video in Nevada / you fuckin’ pink maggot / I’ll take your mic, you can’t have it,” are calling out such respected figures as the Big Dawg himself, as well as the Nasty brother named Esco.

But perhaps the most lyrically cruel, and controversal track is “Leave Me Alone”. Think you down? Think again. Record label folk get in the first verse, while indy labels, and popular video directors take it anally in the second and third verses. With the song beginning with the line “Now it’s time to hurt your feelings….”, prepare to take offense. But as the hook suggests, this built up anger is natural, as he just wants to be left alone.

If you have picked up any of Keith’s ealier works, you already know what to expect with this album. You already know that there are a few screws loose in the brothers’s head, but that’s what gives him his appeal. While others try to be gangsters, clever punchline based emcees, and some even try (and fail) to mimick him, Keith is in a world all his own. Among the skitzofrenic circus of Dr. Octagon, Rhythm X, Mr. Gerbick, Dr. Dooom, and many others, there is only one Kool Keith, and surprisingly, he continues to somehow change it up a bit every time, and still put out great records.

  Mixtape D.L.
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