KOOL KEITH at the Funhaus, September 30. Tickets: $24.50. Attendance: 550. Rating: NN Rating: NN
By quarter to one it looked like Kool Keith , the eminent Ultramagnetic MC and bearer of more aliases than Jennifer Garner (Dr. Octagon, Black Elvis, Reverend Tom, Rhythm X, Fly Ricky the Wine Taster - the list goes on), was about to introduce Toronto to his newest alter-ego: Mr. No-Show.
Outside the Funhaus on Queen West, where backpackers, ballers, goths, businessmen, frat boys and people better dressed for Tonic, poured from the venue after copping their money back, a glum kid who'd driven from London to see Keith grumbled, "He should drop the Kool from his name."
On cue, Keith's nasal voice boomed through the windows above. Back upstairs, the crowd of remaining diehards rushed the stage. Playing hype man Kutmaster Kurt , Keith, rocking a backwards white baseball cap, Oakleys, white shirt and tie, made up for his lateness by kicking the wackest freestyle of all time: "Pull out my cock / non-stop / block to block / lyrically hiphop."
At one point he invited the ladies onstage so he could grace them with a rendition of Girl Let Me Touch You There, with lecherous lighting casting the eight dancing girls in blue, red, purple and green hues.
Suddenly, he segued into the aggressive Spankmaster, barking at them, "Remove your clothes! Take off your clothes," over and over before steering them to the "VIP area" - actually stage left, where they remained uncomfortably behind a speaker.
Continually yelling "Toronto!" like a baby who's just learned his new favourite word, the funky heterosexual rocked bangin' renditions of Sex Style, Blue Flowers and Freaks with impressive control; you could hear every word. Now the crowd was a sea of wristbanded hands waving side to side.
He lost them when he forgot the words to Black Elvis, though, abandoning the track early on. "You know what's funny? I don't even know that shit," he chuckled. "I got so many mawfuckin' records."
Shit really started falling apart around 1:20 am, when a tanked frat boy appeared onstage and held onto Keith while he performed, cuddling the rapper while a meagre security guy tried to pry them apart. Everyone started leaving when the MC stopped mid-song and abruptly started peddling copies of his "personal new CD" directly from the stage.
Come on, Keith - didn't you rip enough people off tonight?