One of my favorite LPs, from two of my favorite MCs… Godfather Don & Kool Keith. And while Kool Keith’s has since been replaced by Ghostface & MF Doom as the Hipster’s favorite MC of choice, he’s hardly kicking around in obscurity nowadays. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some criminally over-looked and sadly out of print gems to his name. The Cenobites one and only album happens to be one of those forgotten gems.
Originally released in 1993 as a 12″ EP on the now defunct and irreplaceable Fondle ‘Em Records, this record was not only Kool Keith at the peak of his free-form maniacal genius, but also at his absolute grimiest! Kool Keith brilliance has always seemingly been about who was handling his production, couple him with a bad producer or let him produce himself and he goes so way off the deep end that it’s unlistenable. But pair him with someone who knows how to cater a beat to his flow and you get absolute magic. Godfather Don does exactly that through-out the album. Taking the darker, off kilter production he introduced on the Ultramag’s final album, Four Horseman he amps up the gullyness factor by 10 here and now handles half of the MCing duties. To this day I’ve never heard another MC compliment Keith’s spacey, frenetic delivery the way Don does with his beefy jackhammer assault.
The Cenobites EP, has seen a few reissues since it’s initial release even expandeding it to an LP by adding remixes and previously unreleased tracks… most notably Return to Zero, a re-named Ulltramag’s Checkin’ My Style featuring a previously omitted Godfather Don verse. But with Fondle ‘Em no longer serving the best of the best when it comes to Hip Hop, the last times this album saw print was 8 years ago. For those of you who’re only familiar with Keith’s Dr. Octagonecologyst, you really owe it to yourself where that album’s genius first began perculating.
P.S. Look at that fucking amazingly awful cover design… I love when bad design is so bad it unknowingly becomes great.