Rating: Before DOOM, before Viktor Vaughn and King Gheedorah, before the myriad collabs with the likes of Madlib and Dangermouse and Jneiro Jarel and Bishop Nehru (and the still unreleased one with Ghostface Killah), before there were DOOM impostors, before DOOM was still stylised ‘MF Doom,’ before even the mysterious performances in the Nuyorican Poets
Tag Archives: MF Doom
KRASH SLAUGHTA: Sugar Coated DOOM (Vinyl LP)
Rating: It’s a given that timing is everything in music – most obviously in terms of composition and production but often just as much in regard to conception and release – the latter two doubly poignantly so in the case of this massive DOOM vs The Sugarcubes mash-up LP from turntablist and producer Krash Slaughta. Which is why the tale of this project’s gestation is
MF DOOM: ‘One Beer’ video
The monkey has known videos come out a bit later than the track that they’re for but fourteen years later is ridiculous. But then MF Doom (or DOOM, or whatever he’s calling himself these days) has never been one to follow the well-trodden path of convention and so the tardy arrival of the animated One Beer video for the track off 2004’s MM..Food isn’t entirely surprising. Turns out that
MASTA ACE: Win signed copy of ‘MA-DOOM: Son Of Yvonne’ album (2012)
Golden era legend and former Juice Crew emcee Masta Ace is still kickin it like that with his latest project. Despite sounding like some sort of crazy Eastenders-matriarch/ supervillain hybrid MA-DOOM is actually Masta Ace’s recent project using the Special Herbs instrumentals of DOOM (the artist formerly known as MF DOOM) which forms the musical basis for his lyrical tribute to his late mother – Yvonne. In order to big up the
DOOM: Born Like This – 2009 – Album review
There are those who will have been desperately waiting, dicks in hand, for this to come out. They will dig the blunted late nineties sound that characterises the first two thirds of this LP and snicker away at the cleverness of Doom’s verse in their little bedrooms. Don’t get me wrong – the man’s lyrics have always been fire – but even when he was more prolific than he has been of late, his output was patchy in terms of beats and cuts, and that is also an issue with this LP. Should you be new to the work of Daniel Dumile (a.k.a Zev Love X, King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn), he’s been putting out stuff like this under the MF Doom name since Operation Doomsday in 1999 and when I say ‘like this’ I mean esoteric samples, largely drawn from old American cartoons and superhero serials, blunted, dusty, quirky beats and his trademark surreal flows. That’s all well and good, but if MM Food was Operation Doomsday Pt. II, this is Pt. III and while it isn’t qualitatively worse on the whole than previous efforts, it’s lacking some freshness.
The J-Dilla produced Gazzillion Ear is a promising opener which trips along on a Middle Eastern melody but second track Ballskin musically plods – disappointing because Doom drops tight self-referential couplets like, “The flow is towin’ precision as a afro-trim/ All big letters but it isn’t no acronym.” Raekwon vehicle Yessir! picks up the pace but also underwhelms musically. And then there’s shit like eighth track Batty Boyz which is frankly embarrassing. Oh what? It’s a post-modern exploration of the homoerotic subtexts of superhero partnerships? Fuck off. “Oh shoot get a load of that fruit…Bustin’ Batman, head bobbin’, slobbin’ Robin’s knob”. Grow up for fuck’s sake. Is he a fifteen year old insecure about his sexuality or something?
The presence of Ghostface Killah brings some fresh air with Angelz in a 70s orchestral-loop-backed Charlie’s Angels-inspired tale of undercover chicks fighting crime in NYC and Doom’s unconventionality is reflected in his choice of sample on Cellz. Basically an apocalyptic reading by 60s and 70s literary sleazeball poet Charles Bukowski, it now pretty much sounds like a description of modern America.
It’s also an interesting state of affairs when one of the better tracks on a Doom LP doesn’t even feature Doom – so Empress Sharhh’s claim to be Still Dope is one that Doom might want to have a think about. The ultra-short Microwave Mayo rests on a heavy bass groove and Doom redeems himself with throwaway lines like “You could cut the tension with a switch blade/ And serve it on the same plate of hors d’oeuvres that a witch made.” Kurious-collaboration More Rhymin’s spare piano-tinkling melody is promising but at a little over one and a half minutes it’s barely got going before it’s ended. There is a treat towards the end, however, with Supervillainz, although, again at under three minutes, it weighs in on the short side but does employ an inventive staccato beat of the kind you wish he’d used a bit more.
I dunno – the lyrics seem generally seem better in the first half while the beats and cuts seem better in the second half. Something doesn’t quite gel with this LP and if you’re new to Doom and think this is dope you’ll be tempted to seek out older (and better) material. If you’re a Doom completist you’ll get yourself a copy of this LP whatever I say – but you’ll know there’s older and better material. Classy cover though.
Out 24 March on Lex Records
Listen to DOOM – Born Like This
DOOM – Born Into This – Album release update – Indefinite delay
READ DOOM – Born Like This – LP review HERE
Long-suffering MF Doom fans will be unsurprised to learn that his latest solo LP Born Into This, originally due for release on 21 October on Lex Records, then delayed until 28 October has now been shelved with no revised release date. MF Doom a.k.a Daniel Dumile, Zev Love X, Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah has apparently also had a “just call me Doom” moment because the MF/’Metal Face’ prefix has been dropped – wonder if that’s a delayed reaction to Grimm swapping the Mad Flows for Grand Master?
Doom’s album Born Into This was set to feature production from J Dilla (presumably done a while ago and not from beyond the grave), Dangermouse and appearances from guest MCs including Ghostface and Raekwon. Ah well – you’ll just have to console yourself with the second Madvillain LP. Oh – hang on – no you can’t. It’s not ready yet.
JAKE ONE – White Van Music – 2008 – Album review
If you’re reading this in the UK you can relax – LP title White Van Music is not a reference to commercial radio stations that play Girls Aloud at speaker-blowing volumes – DJ/Producer Jake One doesn’t roll like that. His homies do however include De La Soul, MF Doom, E40, Nas and Fifty Cent (to name but a few) – in fact – he’s part of the G-Unit production team. ‘What?’ I hear you ask, ‘is this man trying to appeal to both the underground and the mainstream? How does he straddle this divide? Like a colossus – or like a clown with one foot on a roller skate and the other on a banana skin?’ Well, on the evidence of White Van Music, I have to say the answer tends more toward the former.
On this, his debut solo LP, Jake One works with rappers as mainstream as Busta Rhymes and as cult as MF Doom and Slug: as old school as Casual and Posdnuos and as hyphy as Keak Da Sneak. He chamelonically adapts his sound to each MC without attempting to blatantly ape the sound for which each rapper is known. So what is Jake One’s sound? First track I’m Coming pretty much answers that one – fat beats shot through with a heavy dose of seventies soul. A blaxploitation sample about being high on ‘musical dope’ gives way to a chant of ‘Open up I’m coming’ that sounds like a war-party of psycho munchkins before Black Milk and Nottz kick a dope verse. It’s one of the best tracks on the LP, though MOP ‘joint’ Gangsta Boy and Brother Ali vehicle The Truth keep the quality until the first interlude. The D Black and Little Brother cuts which follow aren’t bad but they just aren’t all that distinctive either. Things pick up a bit with the skipping break on the Posdnuos and Slug’s Oh Really and Doom rolls it all abstract on the noirish Trap Door. Freeway gets lively again on How We Ride and is given a suitably upbeat backdrop, Doom gets a second highly satisfactory crack at the whip on Get ‘Er Done and Hiero soldier Casual gets all up in your face with Feelin’ My Shit. As far as lyrical themes go it’s (unsurprisingly) ninety per cent all about how dope each rapper is – though Blueprint obviously felt secure enough about himself to tell a story about the shit that happened when he was seeing some gangsta chick rather than constantly big himself up in Scared. You won’t be at all surprised to learn that the prize for best rhymes goes to the effortless Daniel ‘Doom’ Dumile though.
This isn’t an LP where the quality drops off radically after the first two thirds, in fact there’s nothing wack on here at all – even Busta Rhymes holds back on the cheese and production is warm and full – not unlike my new baby’s nappy – though that stinks and Jake One’s production does not. In fact there’s only two flavours of Jake One in evidence – the not bad and the pretty good. I guess I could’ve done with a little more variety in tempo or style – but there’s variety in MCs instead. It would be cheap to end by punning that everything is pretty much ‘jake’ with White Van Music, but hey – it’s true.
Out now on Rhymesayers
Buy White Van Music: Jake One Presents @ amazon.co.uk
Listen to Jake One – White Van Music