Monday, May 28, 2007

Kool Keith - "Girls Don't Like the Job"

Kool Keith. Where to begin?

After achieving notoriety in the early hiphop underground as the stand-out weirdo of the Bronx's Ultramagnetic MCs, Keith became the darling of knapsack hipsters a few years later as the voice of Dr. Octagon, a collaboration with producer Dan "the Automator" Nakamura in which Keith created the character of a psychopathic gynecologist/serial killer from outer space. Dr. Octagon was only the start of arguably the strangest solo career in hiphop history, encompassing dozens of personae and as many albums.

In 1999, following his relocation to Los Angeles, Keith released Black Elvis/Lost in Space, his first solo album for a major (Sony) and the first released under the name Kool Keith. The album is split into two halves, each a showcase for one of Keith's characters: the first is a space traveler, the second the undisputed king of hiphop. The album is worth seeking out for the liner notes alone, in which Keith thanks "Aaron Fuchs, for bringing a tape recorder to my shows, secretly recording them, and bootlegging my live shows"; "all you fake ass wiggers in the music industry acting like you grew up in the projects"; "all my porno star friends"; and "my celebrity fans", who include Bill Gates, Monica Lewinsky and Jerry Seinfeld.

This track is from the latter half of that album. In it, Keith describes his corporate empire, name checking numerous financial institutions, consummating real estate deals with Al Sharpton and founding a new NBA franchise, the Baldwin Hills Spacemen. At one point he can be heard ordering an employee to "fax yourself to China." Ah, the life of a deluded would-be CEO.

I bought this record new at Beat Street, but have never actually heard the album in its entirety. My copy is defective: side 4 is pressed on side 1, so I have two copies of the record's final side and none of its first. I never got around to returning it. The liner notes include a toll-free number for reporting defective merchandise, but it only led to a recording giving an address to which to send the offending product. Fearing I would never hear back if I mailed in my record (this being the days before the Consumerist), I didn't bother. Nowadays Sony still seems to own the number, but the recording just tells callers to complain directly to the retailer. Try it yourself: 1-800-257-3880.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: Kool Keith - "Girls Don't Like the Job"

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