Dr. Octagon

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Dr. Octagon
Dr. Octagon.gif
The image used by CMH Records in its promotion of The Return of Dr. Octagon.
First appearanceDr. Octagonecologyst
Last appearanceThe Return of Dr. Octagon
Created byKeith Thornton
Portrayed byKeith Thornton
Information
SpeciesExtraterrestrial
GenderMale
OccupationGynecologist and surgeon.
RelativesMr. Gerbik
NationalityJovian
 
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Dr. Octagon
Dr. Octagon.gif
The image used by CMH Records in its promotion of The Return of Dr. Octagon.
First appearanceDr. Octagonecologyst
Last appearanceThe Return of Dr. Octagon
Created byKeith Thornton
Portrayed byKeith Thornton
Information
SpeciesExtraterrestrial
GenderMale
OccupationGynecologist and surgeon.
RelativesMr. Gerbik
NationalityJovian

Dr. Octagon was a persona created and used by American rapper Keith Matthew Thornton, better known as Kool Keith. First appearing on Thornton's 1996 debut solo album, Dr. Octagonecologyst, Dr. Octagon is an extraterrestrial time traveling gynecologist and surgeon from the planet Jupiter. Thornton performed and released two albums under the alias. The character was murdered by Dr. Dooom on Thornton's 1999 album First Come, First Served, and was briefly revived before once again being killed on Thornton's 2008 album Dr. Dooom 2, in response to the release of The Return of Dr. Octagon, an album largely produced without Thornton's involvement.

Biography[edit]

In Dr. Octagonecologyst, Dr. Octagon is described as having yellow eyes, green and silver skin which also changes to blue and brown, a pink-and-white Afro,[1] and has a brain that glows yellow, black, red, green, and purple. Octagon also states that he can change his face with the press of a button, disappear, and wears a 7XL which has not yet been invented. Octagon wears X Ray shades with hard shoes and razor blades, and a white suit and stethoscope. Further tracks detail a list of services offered by Octagon, who claims to treat chimpanzee acne sex moosebumps, and relocate saliva glands.[2] Octagon is described as being incompetent, as many of his surgery patients die as he conducts his rounds.[3] Octagon also pretends to be a gynecologist and often engages in sexual intercourse with female patients and nurses.[2] Octagon's uncle, Mr. Gerbik, is described as being half shark, having the skin of an alligator, and is 208 years old.[4]

On First Come, First Served, Dr. Dooom posed as a patient and murdered Dr. Octagon.[5] Pages from "top secret documents" written by Fanatik J for The REAL Return of Dr. Octagon Mix Tape reveal a storyline in which Dr. Dooom's influence over Los Angeles has grown, and Dooom and a "Hybrid" set out to resurrect the long deceased Octagon as part of "a final bid for total Industry Chaos".[6] Octagon took a blood sacrifice, an A&R representative from a classified record label represented by hillbillies under the direction of the penal colony of Oceania.[6]

A "hasty deal" was struck between Dooom, the Hybrid, and the label. When the Hybrid revealed that Dooom had made a deal with actual hillbillies, the Oceanic Penal Colony Overlord exerted his desire to destroy Octagon, and relations between the label and Dooom became hostile.[6] Dooom instructed the Hybrid to "turn over use-less acapella and early versions" to facilitate a final payment from the label.[7] The Hybrid gave the label intentionally distorted and obscured tracks, neutralizing the label's advantage, and created an internet portal to leak the tracks.[7]

According to the story published in eight chapters to promote The Return of Dr. Octagon, a package containing new songs by Octagon arrived at the offices of OCD International, who hired "interpreters" to decipher the meaning of each song.[8][9] Three weeks after receiving the package, and still unable to decode its meaning, OCD received a phone call from an unknown source, tracked to Los Angeles, New York, Australia and Saturn.[10] The caller claimed to have received the same package five years ago, and that it had brought destruction and chaos upon the society that received it, and warns that they will come after Octagon.[10]

OCD received a message from a hacker identifying himself as Cassettes Won't Listen, who stated that eight years ago, himself and five friends were abducted by aliens, tortured, cloned and kept in isolation. The last survivor was killed by one of the clones, and Cassettes Won’t Listen went underground to fight the clones.[11] Cassettes Won’t Listen reveals that Dr. Octagon was imprisoned in the cell next to him, as "a prime candidate to study all things regarding grills, pills and bills".[11] Octagon was cloned, and his clones have been sent out to destroy the universe.[11]

Rob Sonic learned that the clones were created by a giant gorilla driving a pickup truck, who intend to steal the package to prevent the world from hearing Octagon's message, allowing him to destroy the Earth.[12] OCD's staff escaped with the package on Kid Loco's plane. An intern briefly saw a figure standing on OCD's rooftop, wearing a labcoat with stethoscope around his neck, holding the head of "some black hairy creature" in his hand.[13]

According to "R.I.P. Dr. Octagon", Dr. Dooom made multiple attempts to murder Octagon, and multiple music critics and record producers made attempts to keep him alive, until Dooom returned to finally kill off Octagon.[14]

History[edit]

Thornton produced two songs under the alias Dr. Octagon, "Dr. Octagon" and "Technical Difficulties."[15] Thornton mailed the songs to radio stations as a teaser, as well as giving copies to several DJs, as well as producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, resulting in the production of Dr. Octagonecologyst.[15] The album featured the work of turntablist DJ Qbert and additional production by KutMasta Kurt. An instrumental version of the album was released under the title Instrumentalyst (Octagon Beats).[16]

In promotion of the album, Thornton toured under the Dr. Octagon billing. These performances featured a full live band, an on-stage breakdancer and appearances by Invisibl Skratch Piklz.[17] Nakamura has referred to Dr. Octagon as a three-person group rather than an alias of Thornton,[18] and these claims were reported by the press.[19]

Thornton later expressed some frustration with the "Dr. Octagon" nickname, saying, "Octagon wasn't my life...I've done a lot of things that were totally around different things other than Octagon. Are some people just afraid to venture off into my life and see that I do other things which are great? I think people stuck me with something."[20]

In 2002, Thornton announced The Resurrection of Dr. Octagon, a proposed sequel to Dr. Octagonecologyst, that would reintroduce the character.[21] Los Angeles-based producer Fanatik J was chosen to create the music for the album.[15] Thornton himself took part in the production of early material for the project, playing bass, guitar, and keyboards on many of the tracks.[22]

After shopping around demos for the proposed album, Thornton signed a contract with CMH Records to release the album.[15] On July 23, 2002, Rolling Stone reported that a new Dr. Octagon album would be released in February 2003.[22] As production on the album was underway, Thornton had a falling out with Fanatik J over contract rights, and the One-Watt Sun production team was hired to create the album's music.[15] After completing three vocal tracks with the label, based upon rough sonic themes created by the production team, Thornton had a falling out with the label, and gave the label recordings he had made two years previously, consisting of Thornton rapping and goofing off, in order to complete his contract. The resulting album, The Return of Dr. Octagon, was largely produced without Thornton's involvement, and did not resemble the direction Thornton had initially intended for the album.[15]

Promotional materials, including music videos, were produced without Thornton's involvement. Thornton states that he was "shocked" by the label's misrepresentation.[15] Following the release of the album, Thornton performed under the Dr. Octagon billing, but did not promote the album.[23] Dr. Dooom 2, Thornton's 2008 follow-up to First Come, First Served, was produced in response to The Return of Dr. Octagon.[20] In the music video for "R.I.P. Dr. Octagon", the appearance of Dr. Octagon resembles the character design used in promotional materials by CMH Records.[24]

In 2013, Dr. Octagon made a guest appearance on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs album "Mosquito". The song is called "Buried Alive".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hess, Mickey (2007). "The Rap Persona". Is Hip Hop Dead? The Past, Present, and Future of America's Most-Wanted Music. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-275-99461-9. 
  2. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Review of Dr. Octagynecologyst". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  3. ^ Chairman Mao (May 28, 1997). "Review of Dr. Octagynecologyst". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  4. ^ Eshun, Kodwo; Sagar, Anjalika (2007). The Ghosts of Songs. Liverpool University Press. p. 207. ISBN 1-84631-014-8. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Randall (September 1, 1999). "Space Invader". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c Fanatik J. "Briefing Document: Operation Octagon". Fanatik J. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  7. ^ a b Fanatik J. "Briefing Document: Operation Octagon (page 5)". Fanatik J. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  8. ^ "The Return of Dr. Octagon – Remix Campaign Week 1". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  9. ^ "Dr Octagon Decipher Series Chapter 2: "Al Greazy"". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  10. ^ a b "Dr Octagon Decipher Series Part 3". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  11. ^ a b c "Dr Octagon Decipher Series Part 5". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  12. ^ "Dr Octagon Decipher Series Part 7". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  13. ^ "Dr Octagon Decipher Series - The Final Chapter". usounds le internacional. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  14. ^ Dr. Dooom (April 26, 2008). "R.I.P. Dr. Octagon" (maxi single) (digital download). Threshold Recordings. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Downs, David (September 27, 2006). "Kool Keith CD Scam Exposed". East Bay Express. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  16. ^ McLeod, Kembrew. "Review of The Instrumentalyst (Octagon Beats)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  17. ^ "Kool Keith gets freaky as Dr. Octagon". Synthesis. May 30, 1997. Retrieved 27 January 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ Downs, David (October 25, 2006). "Dashed Hoop Dreams". East Bay Express. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  19. ^ Kot, Greg (June 27, 1997). "Back to the Future: Dr. Octagon looks to the past to cure hip-hop". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  20. ^ a b Downs, David (November 21, 2008). "Kool Keith and KutMasta Kurt". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  21. ^ Goodman, Abbey (April 5, 2002). "All The Voices In Kool Keith's Head Working On New Albums". MTV News. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  22. ^ a b Moayeri, Lily (July 23, 2002). "Kool Keith Revives Dr. Octagon". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  23. ^ Godfrey, Sarah (August 26, 2006). "Kool Keith's Bits & Pieces". The Washington Post. p. C08. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  24. ^ Kool Keith (July 29, 2008). "R.I.P. Dr. Octagon" (music video). Threshold Records. Event occurs at 1:41. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 

External links[edit]