Stretch, Where's Uncle Gretch?
I once had a discussion with someone whose rap opinion I value greatly. He wondered how I could love the works of non-traditional (in his opinion) artists like MF Doom, Prince Paul, and Quasimoto while not getting too deep into lyrically gifted but somewhat one dimension emcees like Cormega or Jadakiss. Even wwhen comparing two amazing groups, the edgier group tends to prevail. I prefer De La to PE, i.e. I explained to my friend that I preferred artists who were both talented and interesting. With all respect, I can't get into artist whose main function is pushing boundries, be it musically like Anti-Pop or lyrically like Paul Barman. But, for reasons I can't explain, rap that is either weird or funny, truly compels me.
No emcee better embodies skill and an odd sense of humor than Kool Keith. Keith, has a reputation for being crazy. I briefly saw him hours before a concert a year back and he seemed sane. I have always wondered if his craziness was a sort of WWF act. It is actually quite effective marketing for everyone to think you're nuts.
Some of my favorite Keith moments:
1. After RZA creates Bobby Digital persona with mask similar to Keith's on Sex Style, Keith features an ad in his Dr. Dooom album for a persona named Robbie Analog. And because Keith will take a joke to total completion, he actually forms The Analog Brothers with Ice-T and othes, and releases Pimp To Eat.
2. Kool Keith can't stop talking about his new cereal. "I'm coming out with a new cereal, Black Elvis cereal, distributed by Kelloggs," Kool Keith said on the phone from an undisclosed location (when asked, laughing, he said "Tennessee tuxedos" (?)). "It's little Elvis wigs with milk. It's crunchy. And the cereal changes different colors - orange, green, red, and light purple - it'll be in the variety packs with Cocoa Krispies, Sugar Smacks, all the top cereals. You get a pair of Elvis glasses with it, and the wig comes in the box sometimes. And the CD is taped on the back of the box. It's gonna hit the market September 20."
3. Seeing him enter a show in Philly with Jacky Jasper while rocking a checkerboard suit.
4. The fact that according to his website, he has 35 albums. He has released efforts as Kool Keith, Black Elvis, Dr. Dooom, Dr. Octagon and as a part of the Ultramagnetic MCs, Ultra, The Cenobites, Masters of Illusion, Analog Brothers, Diesel Truckers, KHM, Undatakerz, Clayborne Family, and Da Beat Terrorists. His next project is called Siamese Sex Show and features a member named Political Indian Dude (V?). I really can't make this stuff up.
5. The skits on Dr. Octagon. "You're gonna need a bad operation."
6. The Blaze Magazine article that I can't find online for the life of me. He was photographed wearing the space helmet and Black Elvis wig. The writer asked about people thinking he was crazy and he changed the subject and said something along the lines of "I like to collect guns."
7. The ad libs and skits on Dr. Dooom. "You're that Dr. Octog0n-ass motherfucker." "Jackie, you look good with them rollers up in your hair." And the lyrics to "You Live At Home With Your Mom," complete with Kutmasta Kurt's vox box.
8. This post from his website: (Scroll to the bottom)
Kool Keith called me the other day, to discuss yet another FRAUD in the Kool Keith world. The picture to the left is of Derrick Roberts aka Money D aka Funeral Director of Thee Undatakerz (the man behind the mask). Until now, an official picture of him has not been released. He is the one selling Kool Keith's clothes, shoes, and other personal items on EBay. Personal Albums were also sold for outstanding prices, when all Kool Keith is asking is 50 or 60 dollars. According to Keith, he has recently taken money fraudulently, setting up Kool Keith projects and disappearing. Now he is missing in action. Keith just wanted to get his picture out, so nobody would trust him. This man is not affiliated with Kool Keith.
(More info could be added, once I talk to Keith again)
9. The fact that he not only made "I Don't Believe You," but had it pressed to wax as a single. To those not in the know, he doesn't exactly rap on this track. It's more of a rant.
10. THE freestyle.
THE freestyle is Keith, Xzibit, and The Liks' E-Swift on the much renowned Stretch and Bobbito show. I don't need to say much here. Just peep the twenty-five count. Also peep the wonderful "Object Unknown."