After doing the deep dive for the Cenobites album by Godfather Don and Kool Keith, I decided to take one step further into the ocean depths for the “Demented Thoughts” EP. Released in 2008 on One Leg Up Records, an imprint which seems to exist solely for this purpose, the label’s logo features an appropriately posed canine preparing to do business. I’m not sure who actually gets the proceeds other than fire hydrants in the vicinity though. The label on the wax reads “All songs recorded from 1993-1996 at Don’s house and Stretch & Bob’s crib” and tracks like “Hawaii” sound like rough demos or live freestyles on Bobbito’s radio show.
Kool Keith is often absent from this version of The Cenobites, with some uploaders (accurately) crediting the tracks to Godfather Don as a soloist. The most clean sounding of the six tracks here is “MC’s Out to Murder the World,” with Don spitting the scattershot flow he made famous in Ultramagnetic promos over a self-produced track. Unfortunately just as he seems to be picking up momentum the song abruptly comes to a halt just over two minutes in with a shoutout to Stretch and Bobbito.
This is getting close to “tinfoil hat” territory but hear me out for a second. I think the fact that these are songs featuring Godfather Don and produced by the Don means they were also RELEASED by Don himself. I suspect that after years and years of hearing people bitch that the Cenobites were out of print, he decided to capitalize on that underground buzz by throwing a quick compilation of songs from the era when he and Keith were together. If that theory is valid there is are two reasons the EP is so short — a lack of new Cenobites material yet to be released before 2008, and trying to avoid including tracks with Keith where he’d have to split the royalties. That’s all just conjecture though.
The interesting things is that songs like “Hot Crib Promo” don’t really lack for Kool Keith at all, especially with noted “Agent Orange” rapper Cage ably playing the role of Godfather Don’s sidekick. Like much of “Demented Thoughts” though this mix is pretty poor. It sounds like it was recorded off the radio during the Stretch & Bobbito show, and the only evidence I need to prove that theory is in the lyrics themselves from the Don: “89 tec 9 I’m on the air/with Stretch, Bobbito and Cage and I’m out of here!” Doc Ock is still in the mix on one song though — the “original mix” of “Slaves.”
Like those aforementioned Cenobites re-issues, “Demented Thoughts” got its own re-issue that padded it out from EP to LP. It’s figuratively and literally (perhaps even punnily) a STRETCH though. To get to that point that had to include a “MC’s Out to Murder the World” remix with Scaramanga, two instrumentals, and a skit called “Stretch & Bob Buggin’ Out.” No matter which version I play though, I can’t escape the feeling that the Don was trying to cash in on whatever name recognition was still left in his short lived team up with Kool Keith. If Keith had been interested in reviving The Cenobites, there would be brand new material here, instead of unearthed demos and freestyles that barely meet recording quality standards. Let’s just call it what it is — if Godfather Don has released this under his own name even fewer people would’ve bought it. I’m not sure many did regardless, but it’s “aight” if you want to hear a few rare dusty tracks.