5/27/17 – Dr. Octagon “Dr. Octagonecologyst” (1996)

Kool Keith released this album in 1996 under the name/persona Dr. Octagon, who is an “extraterrestrial time traveling gynecologist and surgeon from the planet Jupiter”. Like all that suggests, this album is pretty damn weird. Keith’s lyrics are often absurd and unpredictable, and his flow is just the same. That erratic flow and word choice will most likely trip you up on the first listen, it’s just impossible to keep up with what he’s rapping about. The production on this album is simply top notch, it’s produced by Dan “The Automator” in his prime, and also features DJ Qbert’s scratching on certain tracks. The album art was created by an artist who normally does Heavy Metal albums, and although the album isn’t as grim as you might expect, I really love it.

Intro sets the tongue in cheek mood with a sample from porno, and that’s not the last time on this album it happens. 3000 is the introduction to Dr. Octagon, the psychotic surgeon who uses his position to get laid and conduct Frankenstein-like experiments. It’s all completely bizarre, as is the rest of Kool Keith’s discography. Brief interludes keep the mood light, the humor is immature and crude, but I’ve always found it amusing. No Awareness features Sir Menelik spitting back and forth with Keith in an endless list of nonsensical scientific jargon. Another favorite on the album is Halfsharkalligatorhalfman, a song as fun as the title.

Blue Flowers is a smooth, trippy, and eerie song that is another highlight, but it’s re-imagined in Blue Flowers Revisited. It’s an unusual thing to have different versions of the same song on the same album, even less so in Hip-Hop. It’s something I wish other artists did, across all genres, I just think it’s an interesting concept that gives you a window into the creative process. Opposite to the delirious lyrics, this album is extremely consistent. Each song is creative and memorable, with lines that just stick with you: “I roast humans like a gyro” (hard g), “Your panties are wet, take it easy, don’t sweat. You want some birth control? You could smoke a cigarette”, “There’s a horse in the hospital!”.

When I first starting getting into Hip-Hop I was obsessed with Dr. Octagonecologyst for a long time. The album is so smooth and listenable that I would just replay it several times a day for a while. It’s 20 songs long but doesn’t feel like it at all. It’s just so strange and unique, but it’s been a few years of no listens and haven’t come back to it until now. I think that’s mainly due to how little I’ve listened to 90’s Hip-Hop these days, and although this doesn’t fit the usual narrative of those albums, it’s still got that classic boom bap sound. This album is up there with the classic Hip-Hop albums that I would show to anyone looking to get into the genre, and fans