February 25, 2011 Playlist

Black History Month Special
Pledge Drive!
"Dr. Octagonecologyst" by Dr. Octagon (1996)
Dr. Octagon  "Dr. Octagonecologyst"  1996 (USA)
It's pledge drive and also "Black History Month" on the show this week, so this week's Classic Album is one of the most original and unusual hiphop records of all time.  By 1996, the political and "conscious" rappers (De La Soul, Public Enemy, etc.) had been eclipsed by the popularity of "gangsta rap" led by pandering populists like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.  Gangsta soon lost its political edge and concentrated on the lucrative business of selling stereotypes of young black male behavior to suburban white kids.  Then out of nowhere comes this utterly absurd album, with some of the most twisted porno-horror lyrics of all time:  vile (and hilarious) nonsense that makes even the craziest gangsta fairytales seem like weak tea.   It was the birth of a short-lived micromovement which could best be described as "villain rap", which took the gangsta style to a cartoonish and surreal science fiction level.  The Dr. Octagon project featured rapper "Kool Keith" Thornton in the titular role of Dr. Octagon (and also the Doc's uncle Mr. Gerbik, who is "half shark-alligator, half man"), along with his rapping sidekick "Chewbacca The Uncircumcised" (Sir Menelik), with beats produced by Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (assisted by DJ Shadow and longtime Kool Keith collaborator Kutmasta Kurt) and turntable scratching by DJ Q-Bert.
"Dr. Octagon" did make one music video for the very psychedelic track"Blue Flowers" from this album.  There was also an earlier version of the record that included some tracks like "Biology 101" that didn't make it to the CD version.  Before the Dr. Octagon project, Kool Keith had been the most notable rapper in the 1980's rap group Ultramagnetic MC's .  Aftwerwards, he continued to create strange new alter-egos for most of his albums, such as the "Black Elvis" character portrayed in this video for the 1999 track "Livin' Astro".  But Keith is not just a wacky weirdo, he is also a talented musician (he plays the bass parts on his albums) and a genius-level rapper, as this freestyle bootleg of Kool Keith cutting Xzibit to shreds and leaving everyone in stitches demonstrates.
Artist Song Album Year Country
Curtis Mayfield Mighty Mighty (Spade And Whitey)
   / I Plan To Stay A Believer (live)
Curtis/Live! 1971 USA
Sly & The Family Stone Stand! Stand! 1969 USA
James Brown Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved Star Time (box set compilation) rec. 1970 USA
The Isley Brothers Fight The Power (parts 1 & 2) The Heat Is On 1975 USA
Funkadelic Let's Take It To The People Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic 1976 USA
The Rotary Connection Paper Castle Aladdin 1968 USA
The Temptations Psychedelic Shack Psychedelic Shack 1970 USA
Prince Let's Work
   / Annie Christian
Controversy 1981 USA
Muddy Waters Let's Spend The Night Together (Rolling Stones) Electric Mud 1968 USA
The Jimmy Castor Bunch When? Phase Two 1972 USA
Tower Of Power What Is Hip? Tower Of Power 1973 USA
Earth Wind & Fire See The Light That's The Way Of The World (original soundtrack) 1975 USA
Dr. Octagon
(Kool Keith, Automator, DJ Q-Bert)
halfsharkalligatorhalfman Dr. Octagonecologyst
1996 USA
Dr. Octagon
(Kool Keith, Automator, DJ Q-Bert)
Blue Flowers Revisited Dr. Octagonecologyst
1996 USA
Dr. Octagon
(Kool Keith, Automator, DJ Q-Bert, DJ Shadow)
Waiting List Dr. Octagonecologyst
1996 USA
The Ultramagnetic MC's
(Kool Keith)
Smoking Dust The Basement Tapes 1984-1990 rec. 1980's,
rel. 1994
Deltron 3030
(Automator, Del Tha Funky Homosapien)
Virus Deltron 3030 2000 USA
Kool Keith I'm Seein' Robots Black Elvis / Lost In Space 1999 USA
Love Live And Let Live Forever Changes 1967 USA
Thin Lizzy The Rocker Vagabonds Of The Western World 1973 Ireland/UK
Shuggie Otis Ice Cold Daydream Freedom Flight 1971 USA
Jimi Hendrix Power Of Soul Band of Gypsys 1970 USA
Miles Davis Fun Directions
(compilation of previously unreleased material)
rec. 1968,
rel. 1981
The Tony Williams Lifetime Mom And Dad Ego 1971 USA
Herbie Hancock Sly Headhunters 1973 USA
Isaac Hayes Joy
Joy 1973 USA
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