After dropping off a bill that would have featured him alongside hard-rockers Coal Chamber and hip-hop act Insane Clown Posse, rapper Kool Keith has announced dates for a 27-date outing of his own.
According to Kool Keith, the tour, launching Aug. 19 in Mesa, Ariz., will feature the chameleon-like performer's Black Elvis persona.
Kool Keith, who recently launched his own hip-hop porn site, will be promoting his Black Elvis/ Lost in Space LP, due Aug. 24 from Columbia Records. The album finds the multi-monikered rapper (born Keith Thornton) presenting what he said may be his final character.
"I'm running with Elvis," he said recently. "I think Black Elvis is the highest level of my achievement right now."
After the Mesa, Ariz., show, the trek will move east before climbing up the coast and heading back toward Kool Keith's adopted hometown, Los Angeles. There, the eccentric MC will play a finale at the city's Key Club venue Sept. 26.
Kool Keith said he plans to sell Black Elvis wigs at the shows, so fans can have their own fun with the persona. Earlier this month, Kool Keith said he would bring along an unnamed "dependable white boy" as his new DJ, explaining that he'd fired his longtime DJ, Kut Masta Kurt, with whom he's collaborated since 1993, for trying to steal his thunder. However, a source said Kut Masta Kurt (born Kurt Matlin) is the man most likely to be behind the turntables on the trek.
Though the tour will focus on supporting the Black Elvis image, Kool Keith said he'll also perform songs from his earlier work.
"I'll probably go for some of my hits," he said. He added that he'll draw from his highly successful 1996 effort that portrayed him as the corrupt, sci-fi gynecologist Dr. Octagon, Dr. Octagonecologyst, as well as songs from his recent First Come First Served album. The latter CD released under the pseudonym for his serial killercannibal character, Dr. Dooom features the anthem, "Dr. Dooom's in the Room" (RealAudio excerpt).
Kool Keith first emerged in 1987 as a member of the pioneering New York rap group the Ultramagnetic MCs. He said he soon will reunite with the group to record a new album.
Kool Keith has acquired a well-documented reputation for canceling tours, most memorably when he disappeared shortly before he was scheduled to perform on the 1997 edition of Lollapalooza.
Kool Keith Tour Dates:
Aug. 19; Mesa, Ariz.; Nile Theater
Aug. 21; Austin, Texas; Steamboat
Aug. 22; Houston, Texas; Wax
Aug. 23; New Orleans, La.; House of Blues
Aug. 25; Tampa, Fla.; Masquerade
Aug. 27; Atlanta, Ga.; The Tabernacle
Aug. 30; Philadelphia, Pa.; Electric Factory
Aug. 31; Washington, D.C.; 9:30 Club
Sept. 1; New York, N.Y.; Wetlands
Sept. 2; Winooski, Vt.; Higher Ground
Sept. 3; Northampton, Mass.; Pearl Street
Sept. 5; Cleveland, Ohio; Peabody's
Sept. 8; Chicago, Ill.; the Metro
Sept. 9; Cincinnati, Ohio; Annie's
Sept. 10; Detroit, Mich.; St. Andrews Hall
Sept. 11; Milwaukee, Wis.; Modjeska
Sept. 12; Minneapolis, Minn.; First Avenue
Sept. 13; Lawrence, Kan.; Granada Theatre
Sept. 14; Boulder, Colo.; Fox Theatre
Sept. 15; Fort Collins, Colo.; Aggie Theatre
Sept. 17; Portland, Ore.; Station 315
Sept. 18; Seattle, Wash.; RKONDY
Sept. 20; Eugene, Ore.; Wild Duck
Sept. 21; Chico, Calif.; Brick Works
Sept. 22; Santa Cruz, Calif.; Palookaville
Sept. 23; San Francisco, Calif.; Maritime Hall
Sept. 26; Los Angeles, Calif., Key Club