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Kool Keith


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New York, United States

An original member of New York’s pioneers the Ultramagnetic MC’s, “Kool” Keith Thornton is best known as a solo rapper. His signature style is stream-of-consciousness lyrical flow and complex vocals, two skills that earn him a perennial nod from the underground community. The average Kool Keith album is peppered with bizarre, disjointed, even delusional or disassociated themes, concepts, and references. Nearly all of his albums incorporate a satirical dislike for more commercialized strains of hip-hop, as well as major record labels.

Thornton’s early career and lyrics with the Ultramagnetic MC’s often referenced his time as a patient of Bellevue, a psychiatric hospital, where he was treated for depression. With Ultramagnetic MC’s, his abstract style developed, maturing in songs like Poppa Large. He was probably the first rapper to create an alter ego, and then create an alter ego for that alter ego (Kool Keith v. Moe Luv). After the Ultramagnetic MC’s broke up, he expanded his resume, experimenting with new styles, including his self-described , known for pornographic imagery and brutal, abstract lyrics. Sex Style released in 1997, was the showcase for this genre.

Teaming up with Dan the Automator Nakamura under the name Dr. Octagon, Thornton again reinvented his image, recording the self-titled Dr. Octagon album (later reissued under the title Dr. Octagonecologyst) which was released by the English trip hop label Mo Wax.


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  • psychoterrorist

    the traveler sounds promising

    4 Jul 11:36am Reply
  • Nagsworth

    Yo, has anyone heard Total Orgasm yet? I was so, SO skeptical about how Keith would manage to stretch his now-thin material over three discs, but I bought it anyway as the art is great and it comes with a free KK condom... I'm pleased to say that this is the best thing I've heard from him in years. His flow is now less stream of consciousness and more spoken word style, and some might find the ropey production values off-putting (not me, I thought it was a fun listen) but the signature Burroughs-esque lurid weirdness of Keith's lyrics that has been lacking for ages seems to be back here. I've only listened to the first disc so far, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'd recommend it to anyone who finds it too easy to dismiss most stuff he puts out nowadays.

    13 May 11:05am Reply
  • Nagsworth

    @TheBlackRaven I'd recommend "Sex Style", as well as his other projects Dr. Dooom (both albums are excellent) and the first Dr. Octagon album as starting points. If you like the surreal sci-fi shit then definitely go for the Octagon record first. Best hip hop album I've ever heard. After that it's sort of hit and miss (there's still a lot that I enjoy but in the last ten years he's done nothing but total crap), but the above mentioned are all flawless Keith efforts.

    30 Apr 8:10am Reply
  • bloody72

    pozdrowienia ze Śląska dla fanów Kool Keith

    19 Apr 6:21pm Reply
  • TheBlackRaven87

    one of very few rap artists I listen to. I only have Black Elvis/Lost In Space. Great, mindblowing and spacey lyrics. Many years ago rap music was just boring to me, but Keith's music changed it a bit. But where to go from there? another album or to check out some of his other projects?

    3 Apr 4:23pm Reply
  • robotpwnsyou

    he's got 2 good records but christ what records they are

    16 Jan 9:27pm Reply
  • Trollpacket

    развеселый и стильный хип-хоп, тексты так вообще улёт

    2 Dec 2014 Reply
  • podgethebastard

    Dr. Octagonecologyst

    15 Nov 2014 Reply
  • piccochimusic

    Kool Keith ft Rah Digga - Non Stop (prod DJ Junkaz Lou)

    19 Jul 2014 Reply
  • affectionateMe

    I LOVE YOU!!!!

    18 Jun 2014 Reply
  • AndrewCG

    awesome dude

    30 May 2014 Reply
  • Gordonflesher

    на порядок лучше всяких там снуп догов и 50 центов. и музыка и тексты на высоте. хип хоп должен быть таким каким нам его преподносит Кул Киф

    21 Apr 2014 Reply
  • piccochimusic

    Kool Keith Freeverse on Soul Assassins (Video)

    4 Apr 2014 Reply
  • FreshyAsFuck

    That "sex style" records is so fucking dope...

    11 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Nagsworth

    Hi. I wrote an essay on Dr. Octagonecologyst recently, explaining why it is one of my all time favourite records, and easily the greatest hip hop record I've ever heard. It'd mean a lot if you read it!

    14 Jan 2014 Reply
  • amuk8


    1 Dec 2013 Reply
  • miserific

    Kool Keith looks like my dad, no lie. Father figure :)

    26 Nov 2013 Reply
  • majo334

    crazy genius

    7 Nov 2013 Reply
  • BasedDubstpKing

    did you wash your dick todayyyy...everybody

    15 Oct 2013 Reply
  • amuk8

    The Cenobites is a favorite of mine. Sex Style and Black Elvis are some of best albums... :)

    27 Sep 2013 Reply
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