Although generally unknown in comparison to the other albums featured in this series, Kool Keith’s debut solo record under the persona of his surrealist, extraterrestrial, sexually deranged surgeon has undoubtedly had an unmistakable influence on the subterranean rap movement.
The arrival of “Dr. Octagonecologyst” acted as a turning point for the hip-hop genre, representing the first truly left-field alternative to the commercial ‘gangsta’ rap that dominated the scene and bringing back a sense of originality that had been lost within the genre. Harkening back to the formative years of rap music in which people experimented across the board Kool Keith and Dan The Automator spurned the self indulgence of gangsta rap and created a surrealist hip hop masterpiece.
“Dr Octagonecologyst” was a breath of fresh air for all those craving an escapism from the harsh street realism of Nas and Wu-Tang and the materialistic arrogance of the LA scene. Kool Keith’s psychedelic stream-of-consciousness verses provided a bizarre boundary-skewing mindwarp and adding an intergalactic tone to an already offbeat and radical release.
The unorthodox nature of the album is in large part due to the futuristic, horror-esque production from the underground scene’s brightest rising talent, Dan The Automator. “Dr Octagonecologyst” succeeded in bridging the gap between underground hip-hop and the more electronic realms of trip-hop, most likely due to the creative injections of DJ Q-Bert who also had a hand in the conception of hip-hop’s beautiful abomination.
“Dr. Octagonecologyst” has gained a cult status through its eccentricities and rarity, an album that pushed the doors wide open for experimentation and non-traditional subject matter and almost single handedly revitalised underground hip-hop.