1 January, 1999@12:00 am
When we arrived in Los Angeles, we met with Kool Keith’s manager, Jeremy Larner to interview the legendary Kool Keith, and to sit down with him and design HipHopSite.Com’s latest offshoot project, KoolKeith.Net. Keith wasn’t there yet, so I started to shoot the breeze with J. We got to talking and I started to ask him about Keith.
“So, is he, uh, crazy?”
“Nah, he’s just really creative. He’s not like super weird or anything.”
“Well…. Is he hard to work with? I mean, do you think he’ll be down with us filming him and all that shit?”
“If he is in the mood…..I talked to him about it, and he should be cool.”
Later, Keith showed up, and before we could even say a word, Keith looked at us and said, “Hey fellas, how you doing?”
Huh? You mean he really is Kool? The legend that made the spoiled and snobby “Leave Me Alone” is actually personable? Well, sure he is, because “Leave Me Alone” was a Dr. Dooom song, not a Kool Keith song.
We met up at Sony with Keith and Jeremy to look at the artwork for Keith’s upcoming “Black Elvis: Lost In Space” LP. Meanwhile, Keith was booking a flight to Miami via telephone. Jeremy was trying to convince Keith to go to the “How Can I Be Down” conference, but Keith was more interested in going to Miami to “just relax on the beach and sip some Margaritas”. This argument continued for about an hour, as we left the Sony building, and throughout the entire car ride to Burger King.
“You know what I did on my birthday Keith? I booked you a show at the Key Club! You say it all the time, you want people to know who you are. I’m doing this for you, so you can get 30 spins a week on MTV, and so that little girl right there will know who Kool Keith is,” cried Jeremy.
“I don’t really care about all of that stuff. I’ve been on MTV before. I just want to go to the beach and the clubs in Miami,” Keith replied lazily.
“See that’s the problem. You go to the strip clubs and spend all your money! What about investing for the future? Don’t you even care about that shit? (Jeremy turns to us) Don’t let this guy fool you. He’s a millionaire, but he spends all us money at strip clubs, on clothes, taking 400 people to eat. Keith’s the type of guy that will take all of his friends to eat and pay for everything.”
“I’m content, I got bank accounts. Do you guys want to go eat at Red Lobster?” Keith asks us. “Today’s my birthday. I want to have the cake and ice cream. I want to go to Disneyland. It’s like they play baseball all year long to get to the World Series, right? Going away (to Miami) is my World Series. I want to see Mickey Mouse now.”
“You can have your fun now, but what about the future? How long can you drink champagne? (Pointing out the window) Look at that little kid right there with the baseball with his dad. That’s fucking fun. Don’t you want to do that?”
“I want to have fun right now. What about those kids in Colorado. They killed like, what, 20 people down there? They died just like that. It didn’t matter how much money they had. What do you think they’re dad walks in and says “How much for my son’s life, I’d like to buy it back…. I mean, I’d rather be at Red Lobster than lying down in a school dead with blood on my T-shirt.” (Turning to us) I mean, where would you rather be? Lying down with a T-shirt, or….sitting in Red Lobster, with a nice glass of 7-UP?”
“Sprite,” said Jeremy.
When we reached our destination, Jeremy took off, and left us to take Keith to the costume shop, and back to his apartment to do the interviews. At this point, it felt surreal, as I was driving around L.A. with Kool Keith in my passenger seat, bumping the Dr. Dooom album. We finally arrived to the costume shop, but they were closed, so Keith asked us to take him to Rite Aid. He picked up a pair of thin red sun glasses, some Elmer’s glue, and a few other household necessities.
We then arrived at his apartment, which to my surprise was actually number 223, as immortalized on the track, “Apartment 223″. It was kind of grungy place, but according to Keith, this was only one of his three homes in the area. It fit the description that he gave it in the song with it’s spots on the carpet and leather chair that he set his victims on fire in. I only wondered if there were body parts under the bed.
Keith went into the kitchen, offered me a Snapple Iced Tea. I took the plastic off the cap, and went to throw it in the trash can. I was shocked when I opened the cabinet door. It wasn’t a dead body, or a severed head, but instead…. porn. Piles and piles and piles of porno magazines. I’m not even playing, there must have been three hundred magazines there. Penthouse, Leg World, Hustler, Mayfair, you name it, and you’d find it under Keith’s sink.
Meanwhile, Keith was in his bedroom changing into costume for the first character. Sitting in his living room, reading a current issue of Hustler Erotic Video Guide, I saw his reflection in the mirror. He was gluing the rubber Elvis wig to his head, using the Elmer’s Glue that he bought at Rite Aid. Keith had then transformed into his first incarnation.
Enter Dr. Dooom. Funky Ass recording artist / cannibal, who just released his album, “First Come, First Served…” While his twin brother, Black Elvis plans to release his album through Sony in August, Dr. Dooom’s LP graces specialty store shelves, with it’s Pen & Pixel cover art, featuring the artist holding a “rat-infested hamburger, with roaches and baboons around.” Dooom is wanted for questioning by the police, as he is under suspicion for the killing of his rival, Dr. Octagon, of which he openly admits to committing the crime.
“Octagon was killed due to the bad nightmares I was having about Octagon, and past relationships that I had with that whole project. It was just something I did with The Automator that didn’t work out for the best. It got too out of hand with the publicity, and I received a lot of bad press about Octagon,” said Dooom. “It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t go on Lollapallooza because I wasn’t ready to go on a thirty-six day tour to perform with a band that I was just notified of two days before the show.”
“Another thing about that project that was bad was that I didn’t have a lot of input. They did a lot of remixes behind my back, and it was kind of a project that they left me out of, and….. I had to kill him. I had to kill Octagon.”
Dooom exited the room after the interview was over, and out walked a man that looked exactly like him, but a little richer and a little better kept. He was dressed in a brown suit, expensive sunglasses, and a pair of white hi-tops. Enter Black Elvis.
“Dr. Dooom is my twin brother. Twin evil bastard that he is. He’s a kind of a weird guy. I have to take care of him sometimes. I’m like the cool one in the family,” said the Black Elvis. “I argued with him about putting my album out at the same time as he did his, but he wouldn’t do it. But we get along. You know, I go to his shows, he comes to mine.”
“Being that you are called Black Elivs, would you compare yourself to Elvis Presley?”
“Of course I would compare myself to Elvis Presley, being that I am a legend and a rock star. I think that I am like his equal, and as a rock star, that puts me on a very high pedistal. I mean, you got Marylin Manson, Metallica, I mean, it’s the same bracket, but I am more of a vinatge rock star.”
We took a break, and Black Elvis told us that when we returned, Keith would be there and that we could talk to him up close and personal. We left to get some more film for the video camera, and when we returned to Apartment 223, Kool Keith appeared before us.
I wasn’t sure what exactly had transpired in between the time we had left, and the time that we returned, but the apartment was literally turned into a virtual pornacopia. Sitting in the infamous leather chair, was Kool Keith, draped in porno magazines, while Buttman’s Brazilian Adventure played at it’s highest volume on the television in the other room. We set up the camera equipment while Keith thumbed through issues of Black Tail and soon again resumed filming.
“So, Kool Keith, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
“Excuse me. I am trying to read this magazine. Can you wait a minute?”
“Well, I mean, we gotta do this interview, man…”
“Well, can’t you just wait until I finish reading this magazine? I mean, I already read five…”
“But isn’t it all the same thing?”
“Nah, it’s different stuff, different angles, you know….”
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