Maybe there was just no possible way for Friday night's Kool Keith show at Neumos to live up to my expectations. I'd never seen the many-faced MC perform before, but I'd heard tell again and again of his (most recent?) Seattle performance, possibly on the Black Elvis tour, when Keith pelted the audience with fried chicken. I guess I'd expected something a little more psychotically vaudevillian, with costume changes, interpersonality feuds, assassinations. What it turned out to be, though, was just a sold-out hiphop show starring a legendary MC—not bad for a Friday night, but somehow not as extraterrestrial as I had imagined.

When Keith eventually emerged, preceded by unflaggingly energetic hypeman Dennis Deft, he was not visibly Dr. Dooom, Dr. Octagon, Black Elvis, or any other character—he was just Keith, in plain clothes and sunglasses, with his head wrapped in a gold-sequined scarf, looking a little bit more like Little Edie from Grey Gardens than an intergalactic gynecologist. Keith seemed a little clocked-out behind the head wrap and shades, delivering his rhymes rote, not really talking much between tracks.

Even if Keith was phoning it in—or, generously, just revving up—the crowd was nuts for it, shouting along to the punch lines and choruses. He did "Blue Flowers," "Girl Let Me Touch You," and "I Run Rap," with its sneering, sinister chorus of "Dr. Dooom is in the room." He did a medley of abbreviated versions of "I Followed You," "God of Rap," "Do Not Disturb," "Take That Ride," and others. Some white beardos in the front row were mouthing every word, grinning maniacally.

At some point, things took the inevitable turn for the porno-riffic, as Keith delved into "How Sexy" and "Freaks" before treating the crowd to his thoughts on a selection of his "own personal" porn magazines: "How many people wanna see cartoon pornos?" he asked, holding up some magazine (huge cheers). "This is a cartoon—it's exaggerated!"

Support The Stranger

He railed against text messaging: "How many people here masturbate? How many people say stop texting and start sexing? See, we have a lot of people masturbating because of the texting. Because when you're texting, you can't hear that voice, you can't see the ass, you don't know who it is, you can't see—stop texting, start sexing!" He played "G-Spot" and the Kool Keith mission statement "Sex Style."

"This is a confession: I buy about 75,000 pornos a week—do I have a problem 'cause I keep buying porn, or do you want me to keep buying it?" The crowd, of course, wanted Keith to keep buying it. The long show seemed to be yielding diminishing returns, so I split, even though I really wanted to see him do "I Don't Believe You." On the way out, at Pike Street Fish Fry, the fry cook was complaining dramatically about having to close shop 15 minutes early to fry some chicken especially for Keith and his crew. recommended