24

thursday

A decade ago, Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith) was relegated to reefer-filled dorm rooms before settling into his notch on hip-hop’s evolutionary timeline. The former Ultramagnetic MC’s crooked flow may be as mind-boggling as the GZA’s, but the twisted humor he wielded against gangsta rap’s tired hegemony—if your idea of humor is tracks about visits to the gynecologist—spoke more to arty suburbanites than to the urban press. Having survived an insulting vocal-free reissue of the watershed Dr. Octagonecologyst, Keith is back and as loathed by the hip-hop community as ever, touring behind the undeservedly maligned The Return of Dr. Octagon. The record, while it can’t match the good doctor’s 1996 debut, is as lyrically weird as ever—“Trees” tops Al Gore’s stuffy discussion of global warming, and “Ants” finds that human and insect communities don’t differ much—and updates Dan the Automator’s overrated, clinical beats for the dance-punk generation. Dr. Octagon performs at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $18. (202) 667-7960. (Justin Moyer)