New York's Ultramagnetic MCs recorded
Critical Beatbown (1988), featuring the young (but already demented) "Kool" Keith Thornton, one of the the first groups to employ a sampler as an instrument (credit producer Cedric Miller),
under the influence of Public Enemy's social commentary.
They used the SP-1200, just introduced in 1987 by California's synthesizer maker E-mu Systems (marketed as a drum-machine, but more successful as a sampler).
The group dissolved after Funk Your Head Up (1992) and
The Four Horsemen (1994).
"Kool" Keith Thornton moved to Los Angeles and debuted his alter-ego
Dr Octagon (a sex-obsessed time traveler) with the single Earth People (1995).
The madcap porno-horror concept album
Dr Octagon (1995) was a groundbreaking collaboration with producer Dan Nakamura and Invisible Skratch Picklz's turntablist Richard "Q-Bert" Quitevis (and, behind
the scenes, producer Phillip "Scaramanga" Collington).
The album was reissued as Dr Octagonecologyst.
Instrumentalyst is an instrumental version of it.
Dr Octagon was truly Nakamura's brainchild, as subsequent Thornton releases
Big Time (1996), produced by Kut Masta Kurt, was a collaboration with rapper Tim Dog under the moniker Ultra.
Cenubites (1995), reissued as Cenobites (1997), was a collaboration with producer Godfather Don.
As Dr Dooom, Thornton then released First Come First Served (1998),
which, thanks again to Kut Masta Kurt, boasted a more aggressive sound.
So far all of Kool Keith's career had relied on the soundscapes built by his
producers and his own nonsensical lyrics.
As Kool Keith, he released the hip-hopera
Matthew (1996), produced by Kut Masta Kurt,
the pornographic concept Sex Style (1997), perhaps his most straightforward hip-hop album,
the accessible Black Elvis Lost in Space (1999), entirely composed, produced and performed by him (and his best album after Dr Octagon's),
and the mediocre Spankmaster (2001).
All of them, focused on his funny stories, but were terribly monotonous.
Kool Keith was prolific, but none of his countless collaborations was all that
Pimp to Eat (2000), credited to the Analog Brothers, was a
supergroup with Ice-T, produced as usual by Kutmasta Kurt.
The project was continued without Ice-T on Game (2002), credited to KHM.
Masters of Illusion (2000) was a project with rapper Motion Man.
Gene (2002) was a collaboration with H-Bomb and Marc Live.
The Lost Masters (2003) collects unreleased material.
White Label Volume One (2004) was a collaboration with Nancy Des Rose.
Thee Undatakerz (2004) was a collaboration with three rappers.
Diesel Truckers (2004) was yet another collaboration with Kutmasta Kurt.
Official Space Tape (2004) is a career retrospective.
Nogatko Rd (2006) is a sci-fi concept album (including Live Dissection, a spectacular collaboration with Safe Francis and Sole).
Kool Keith resurrected the persona of Dr Octagon for
The Return of Dr Octagon (2006), but the music is simply the leftover from
a failed collaboration with DJ Fanatik.