Underground Hip Hop Legends Dr. Octagon Close Out New Orleans Stage At M.T.G. [PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: DR. OCTAGON @ MUSIC TASTES GOOD 10/1/17
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Long Beach, CA- Dr Octagon, aka “Kool” Keith Thornton, aka Rhythm X, aka Dr. Dooom, aka Mr Gerbik was the final act at The New Orleans stage and boy was it a worthy one. As he was mainly prominent in the 90’s, I was only introduced to a few of his more popular tracks as a child, but I never fully understood what Dr Octagon actually was.
When I saw his name on the lineup, I had an “oh, WOW, I haven’t seen that name in years” moment. I dug in deeper before the festival to find more of his music before discovering that Dr Octagon is more than just a name for a musical group, but it’s also an entire persona with a backstory. He’s a “extraterrestrial surgeon from Jupiter who uses space technology and primitive tools to perform medical procedure on his patients, some of whom die as he conducts his rounds.” The whole premise of a character being on stage just seemed so intriguing that it was worthy of skipping out on Sleater-Kinney
After a commercially successful release of their album “Dr. Octagonecologyst” in 1996, the group essentially disbanded and it wasn’t until earlier this year that they came back together for a surprise tour. When the band hit the stage they were all dressed in lab coats wearing masks, hats, and sunglasses making sure that they had barely any skin showing. It was actually rather difficult trying to tell DJ Q-Bert, Dan The Automator, and Kool Kieth himself apart. The two DJ’s positioned themselves at their turntables on each side of the stage before Dr Octagon came out sending the crowd into a huge crazed frenzy.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m not super knowledgable on a lot of their music… the opening track was one that I didn’t recognize a bit. For several minutes, Kool Keith went on and on about different octagon shaped items such as octagon soap and octagon hats and octagon motorcycles and octagon washing machines etc etc. He even added the cliche “Let me hear you say yeah!” before going into more octagon items. It was an intro that left me a bit confused (and tired of hearing the word octagon… lol) but my interest perked up again when the group went into the classic “Earth People”.
I wrapped around behind the stage and made my way up the stairs to watch the band from the stage, and from here I could see how overjoyed crowd was to be hearing these classics. I was doing my best to absorb the moment and realized that I was witnessing a performance from artists that really helped shape underground hip hop. And when Dr Octagon closed with “Blue Flowers, I couldn’t imagine the set ending any better.
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