Keith Thornton, best known by his stage name Kool Keith, is an old-school cat (dude is 53) who’s been new-school since before it was a thing.
Active since the early 1990s, the prolific and relentlessly creative rapper/producer has made a strange and fruitful career out of challenging the norms of hip-hop, playing characters (Dr. Octagon and Black Elvis among them) and routinely freaking people out. His lyrical style in particular has proven widely influential, incorporating dense thickets of internal rhyme à la stylistic successors like Eminem and Earl Sweatshirt.
Marked by surreal turns, explicit themes and violent fantasies, his contributions are often counted among the building blocks of the hip-hop sub-genre horror core. With two albums already out this year, there’s seemingly no end to fresh Kool Keith material to be explored ahead of his show at Paper Tiger.