Kool Keith Interview

There are plenty of quirky characters that emerged from the hip-hop and RnB scenes in the nineties; think Slick Rick, Coolio and Rick James for starters. But just in terms of sheer, unadulterated absurdity, Kool Keith takes the cake without question. Showing no regard for convention, his unique steez combined with his colourful personality was a breath of fresh air, and that’s without touching on his influence as a musician.

A founding member of the Ultramagnetic MCs, Keith has morphed into several other personas including Dr Octagon and Dr Dooom throughout his career, whilst single-handedly inventing genres he termed horrorcore and ‘pornocore’ among others. An interview with Keith was always going to be a quote-filled occasion, and he did not disappoint in this archive feature that we’ve resurfaced as part of our 90s takeover.

You’ve often been associated with, or even arguably responsible for, the horrorcore and acid rap genres. How do you think they’re doing now? Are there any artists from those scenes that you follow?
I invented horrorcore. I don’t listen to those groups who try to sound like me very much, it bores me.

The paranormal and sci-fi influences are a strong theme throughout your work, why do you think it is that some people, or musicians, are better at connecting with their sub-conscious and imagination than others?
I don’t put limits on my self or my creative flow. I write what I feel. One day I might write about eggs, one day I write about bitches, the next I might write about chopping up bodies in the basement. I’m a creative writer in my music and lyrical genius.

You are also known for an interest in conspiracy theories, one of the biggest floating around at the moment is that 9/11 was engineered by the American government, i.e. ‘an inside job’, what’s your take on that?
It could be true, you never know. I believe aliens exist. I seen one in the projects one time wearing a gold chain and smoking a blunt.

One of my favourite Dr Octagon songs is Blue Flowers. Is it a reference to the killer drug, substance D, from Phillip K Dick’s sci-fi classic A Scanner Darkly?
No it’s really a song about a blue flower I found one day by a purple pond.

I believe aliens exist. I seen one in the projects one time wearing a gold chain and smoking a blunt.

Do you think that drugs are a help or hindrance to the creative process?
A lot of musicians take drugs. A lot of them died or killed they selves though. I think it can sometimes help open your mind to new ideas or sounds. I used to smoke dust back in the day, that’s some ill shit.

I read somewhere that you are a big fan of Paris Hilton, would you consider a collaboration?
I’d like to do a photo shoot with her. I got some nice outfits for her to try on… I’m a photographer, I got thousands of pictures in my private collection.

Words: David Kane

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