Six years after the release of his seminole solo debut Dr. Octagonecologyst
, engagingly warped rapper Kool Keith
announced his plans to begin work on a follow-up called The Resurrection of Dr. Octagon
, but alas, it was not to be. The resulting struggles have been the result of much controversy, but Keith -- as Dr. Dooom
-- later straightened the story out for those of us that were confused:
I stabbed him over 17 times
But you people out there wouldn't let him die
Y'all put him on the respirator
The critics that gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation was a hater
Basically, Keith, ashamed of the major success of Dr. Octagonecologyst
, decided to kill off his creation by inventing a new creation for the record First Come, First Served
, and then later changed his mind. This turned out to be a bad idea, as the producer Keith teamed up with -- Fanatik-J -- tried to take over the project, and Keith got into a dispute with the distributing label, CMH Records, a company known for putting out cover albums of non-country songs in country form. The result was that four years after the project was announced, a previously-unknown label called OCD International -- actually a subsidiary of CMH, put out an album called The Return of Dr. Octagon
, consisting of three actual tracks and eleven cuts cobbled together from tapes Keith gave the label in order to get out of his contract.
The result sounds about what you'd expect. To say that the production -- by One Watt Sun -- is not as good as that of Dr. Octagonecologyst
would be an understatement. Still, there are many good spots here in there, the best-sounding being "Aliens" and "Ants", which sound the most like actual Kool Keith cuts. The problem lies in the rest of the material. It's fairly obvious that Keith was not involved in any way with the majority of the production. Even "Trees", which Keith was involved with, does not sound like a Kool Keith track. The poppy environmentally-conscious electro-funk is a supreme oddity in a discography of odd albums and tracks. This track, as with many of the tracks on the album, is just too light and fluffy-sounding. One would expect an Dr. Octagon album to sound dark. The kind of pop music presented here does not fit what we expect from the name formerly attached to eerie tracks like "Blue Flowers".
Elsewhere, country and electro are somewhat successfully fused on "A Gorilla Driving A Pick-Up Truck", while "Eat It" is dark-sounding enough to pass for an Octagon track, but there is not a semblance of an attempt to create a successful collaboration with Princess Superstar, whose rantings are at the forefront of "Eat It". I thought this was a Dr. Octagon album. Who the hell are you? The rest of the album sounds decent in terms of production value, but the R&B and pop-based instrumentals do not synch up with the artificial weirdness of Keith's vocals.
The Return of Dr. Octagon
has a few noteworthy moments of interest, but there's just no way to defend a Kool Keith album that Keith himself had very little to do with. Apparently, though, Keith does not seem to be offended by the album, as it does not receive the same treatment that his website gives to the discontinued bootleg Dr. Octagon II
, put together by Reel Talk Records, and Keith actual wound up stating at one point or another that he thought the production was well done, which is true, but Keith's further remarks -- that the instrumentals do not fit the album -- are even more so. The Return of Dr. Octagon
is two separate albums mixed together - an instrumental album, and a vocal album that has been chopped up beyond recognition, and artificially edited into something that should have never been.
As far as Dr. Octagon fans should be concerned, there never was a resurrection. Octagon briefly had the time to spit out two more intergalactic musings before being shot in the head by Dr. Dooom. Buy a copy of Dr. Dooom 2
. If you desperately want to hear something from The Return
, "Ants" is the best of the two good songs.