Kool Keith, The Sugar Club Dublin


It is hard to know what to expect going into a Kool Keith show. The man of many names (Dr. Dooom, Black Elvis, Dr. Octagon to name a few) is one of hip hop's most enigmatic and eccentric characters. He combines strange and smooth quite like no other. The erotic visuals accompanying the set and even his choice of outfit only add to the bizarre, yet suave, mystique that surrounds Kool Keith. 

The initial melody of Ultramagnetic MC's tracks gets the ball rolling suitably. The lacklustre freestyle that follows is admirable for sheer length alone, but was by no means awe inspiring. It is the Dr. Octagon material that uplifts the show to new heights and Black Elvis keeps it there briefly. Full tracks are a rarity in the set. Towards the end he delivers hook after hook, highlighting the size of his back catalogue but never showcasing his talent for delivering perfectly off beat rhymes.

His hype man and DJ are really the glue holding the show together. Kutmasta Kurt's mixing and scratching is supreme and polishes the weaker segments of the set. The hype man proves he is a necessity by interacting with the crowd and raising energy levels. Kool Keith's demeanour isn't built for these duties and it's hard to imagine what the show being any way exciting without the hype man. 

After an exhilarating run through of 'Poppa Large' he gathers as many women on stage as possible and leads them to the VIP bar, for god knows what. The show was definitely highly entertaining, but has it's share of awkward moments. It satisfies the fans by giving a glimpse into the many different characters that Keith has brought to life over the course of his 31 year long career. It doesn't consistently deliver and that is what someone with countless amounts of studio albums should be able to guarantee for everyone.   -Ross Logan

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