Kool Keith to headline at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar - VIDEO
blog by Steve Wilger • August 16, 2013 @ 10:44am
Tonight at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, Buffalo will see the experimental hip-hop artist and original member of Ultramagnetic MCs, Kool Keith, take the stage with special guests DJ LoPro and DJ Bearskinrug.
The show, presented by Deep Thinka Records, will begin at 10 p.m.
Keith Thornton, aka Kool Keith, emerged as a solo rap artist after recording three records, including the widely influential 1988 debut “Critical Breakdown” as a member of hip-hop group Ultramagnetic MCs.
Keith’s first solo release, “Dr Octagonecologyst,” began what would become a recurring theme in his subsequent releases, creating a fictitious persona for himself and constructing a concept album around that character. In this record, the central persona is that of Dr. Octagon, a time-traveling extraterrestrial surgeon with malevolent intentions.
“The concept makes for some undeniably juvenile (and, arguably, hilarious) moments, but the real focus is Keith’s astounding wordplay; it often seems based on sound alone, not literal meaning, and even his skit dialogue is full of non sequiturs,” wrote AllMusic’s Steve Huey in his review of the album. “It’s the best musical backing he’s ever had, and even if he’s since explored some of these themes ad nauseum, Dr. Octagon remains as startling and original as the day it was released.”
Keith continued this exploration of character-centric albums with the 1999 release “First Come, First Served,” in which he portrayed serial killer Dr. Dooom and in “Black Elvis/Lost in Space” released in the same year.
“It was my whole transition into a rock star. I wanted to be the Black Elvis of rap,” Keith said in an interview with Wax Poetics. “Columbia thought it was a joke, but I was serious. The press took it as a joke too. Diddy calls himself the Black Sinatra. If he can do that, then I can be Black Elvis. I think it’s a great album.”
In 2012, Keith released the album “Love and Danger”, and in an interview with Rolling Stone, he suggested that the record’s closing track, “Goodbye Rap” might signal his retirement from the genre.
“What I’m doing now basically, is consulting, like coaching. I’m not mad at the art or quitting, but I just said I’d rather take a coaching standpoint. I retired from working so much. Will I come back? Maybe. I don’t know how long my dismissal is.”
Tickets for tonight’s show are available at the Brown Paper Tickets website.