Hip-hop fans across the universe associate Kool Keith with his advanced abstract word play and penchant for conceptualizing off-kilter personas like the peculiar space gynecologist Dr. Octagon, the kinky cape wearing Spankmaster, and the cannibalistic, pet rat owning Dr. Dooom. But it turns out the Bronx-raised rapper, who first rose to acclaim as the star lyrical force in the golden age hip-hop crew Ultramagnetic MCs, is also a breakfast scholar. When it comes to kick-starting your day in the correct fashion, Kool Keith knows all about the importance of a perfect early morning spread.
Taking a break from basking in the glow of a plush reissue of his classic 1996 Dr. Octagonecologyst album and expanding the range of his own K.K. clothing line, Extra Crispy chatted with Keith about freezing milk for your cereal, why potstickers work for brunch, and his utter disdain towards the way eggs are cooked in Europe.
Extra Crispy: What's your normal breakfast routine?
Kool Keith: For breakfast, I like Raisin Bran cereal. I take Raisin Bran—like the original Kellogg's Raisin Bran—and I freeze my milk with ice cold little chunks in it and pour it on the raisins, man. I like ice cold milk. And I love to have an egg roll afterwards and then I'll get another bowl of Raisin Bran.
Why do you freeze the milk?
Hot milk doesn't taste good. You know, in the summer, you put it in your mouth and you feel that it doesn't feel right. Milk should have the little airy taste—I think milk is cool when it's freezing cold. It's kinda like a milkshake with the chunks. It makes the cereal taste have a real impact; the cereal is almost frozen but the milk is still there. I like that you can see the little pieces of ice, like a smoothie in the milk. It's real cool.
If Kellogg's came to you about making a Kool Keith cereal, what would it be?
My cereal might be called Cinnamon Bread Flakes. It would be all kinds of flakes of bread with cinnamon. So like chopped French toast put into a cereal mode. [Pauses] That sounds good.
What if you were doing eggs for breakfast? How does Kool Keith cook his eggs?
I make them scrambled and I put like maybe a piece of cheese on them and throw some pepper on them and cook them in butter. I don't like the all-the-way-oil taste. I use butter to give them a semi-salty taste and keep them nice.
If you were hosting a brunch at home, what would you serve?
Usually I would make potstickers which I make myself. I sit them in the pan and pan fry them on one side and put the sauce on them, like the regular hot sauce, and then put some sweet sauce around them. I make them with some French fries or something.
You've toured the world a lot. What's the strangest breakfast you've been served while on the road?
I know in Europe they cook their eggs more like a pudding and I bug out with that. It's not really right: For me, eggs are supposed to be a little hard, like if you cook them sunny side up or fried. But I know in the U.K. the eggs are more like a pudding and it trips me out. The eggs are more like baby food. I tried to get used to it but I trip out on it and it's a little too different to me. It catches me off guard that Europe makes their eggs more like a pudding. It's like yoghurt or something. It's like baby food or macaroni—it’s too soft.
Can we talk about what some of your most famous aliases would eat for breakfast? How about Dr. Octagon?
Octagon has maybe watermelon with a glass of water. He's got to be a healthy dude, he’s doing surgeries. Sometimes maybe he'll have a turkey burger for breakfast too.
What would Black Elvis reach for in the morning?
Black Elvis is more flashy so he goes out and has a T bone steak for breakfast.
What about Dr. Dooom?
He has a falafel. He eats falafels at any hour of the day and especially for breakfast.
Finally, what does Mr. Gerbik, Dr. Octagon's half-shark half-man uncle, start the day with?
He eats coconut ices for sure.
Nah, Mr. Gerbik has always been just coconut ices for breakfast.