Earth People! The Triumphant Return of Dr. Octagon

June 26th, 2017 by The Professor


by Earl Crown, host of Crucial Cuts on WLOY

On June 4th 2017, Kool Keith (aka Dr. Octagon) came to Baltimore Soundstage with his hip-hop super-group, and reminded us why we loved Dr. Octagon in the first place. His 1996 album, Dr. Octagonecologyst, is considered by many to be among the most important albums of that decade and a must-own LP for any serious fan of the genre. With the help of producer and DJ Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, as well as world-class turntablist DJ Qbert, Octagon was able recreate the genius of his groundbreaking 1996 album on stage.

The Dr. Octagon tour features an all-star stage band, with a live drummer and bass player, along with two DJs, the aforementioned Dan the Automator and DJ Qbert. The set list for the Baltimore Soundstage show included many tracks from the Dr. Octagonecologyst album, including “3000”, “Earth People” and “Bear Witness”. The appreciative crowd got especially wild for “Blue Flowers,” a fan-favorite from the 1996 release.

DJ Qbert is widely recognized as among the greatest, if not the greatest turntablist on the planet, and those highly vaunted skills were on display throughout the Dr. Octagon performance. At the end of the show, the rest of the band exited the stage, leaving only Qbert to move the crowd with his prowess on the decks. He gave a ten-minute solo performance that left the already-hyped crowd absolutely stunned by what they were fortunate enough to witness. Qbert’s mastery of the turntables was reaffirmed by what I can honestly describe as the finest performance by a DJ that I have ever seen in person.

Before the show, I was able to get a copy of the reissued Dr. Octagonecologyst album on vinyl, autographed by Kool Keith himself. You’ll be able to hear tracks from the album from time to time on my award-winning WLOY radio show, Crucial Cuts with Earl Crown, which airs on Thursdays from Noon-2pm and Saturdays from 4-6pm.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Kool Keith or DJ Qbert play live, either on the Dr. Octagon tour or elsewhere, I highly recommend that you do so. If you want to understand why Dr. Octagon was so innovative, and why the fans were so excited by the performance at Baltimore Soundstage, go to a record store and pick up a copy of this reissued classic, Dr. Octagonecologyst. You can experience the genius of Kool Keith, Dan the Automator, and DJ Qbert first-hand on your own turntable.




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