I'm pretty sure that with this article I'm going to skool a shit ton of people, because you probably don't know about any MC's as real as MF DOOM. Recently though, since he mentioned the release of his latest album (the focal point of tonight's review), his new alias drops the MF part, and calls himself simply DOOM.
Born in London 1972, Daniel Dumile grew up with a mom from Trinidad and a father from Zimbabwe. Early on in his childhood though, he moved to Long Island, New York which probably explains the weird yet unique accent DOOM has.
His first push to fame in the music game was in the group KMD in the early 90's (Kausing Much Damage if you're nasty), with his little brother DJ Subroc, and Onyx the Birthstone Kid. The band had a political vibe, which got them picked up by Elektra Records. But his brother was killed by car impact right before the release of their second album. Sadly, on top of his brother's death, the group was dropped from its label.
Years later, DOOM became the character that you hear today, influenced by the Fantastic Four's Archenemy, Dr. Doom. He began to cover his face at his shows, and wears a mask at every performance and in every picture of video he is in.
The mainstream got a glimpse of DOOM in 2004 with the release of Madvillainy, an album produced by Madlib. This was the push he needed, and the legend began. With over 35 guest appearances on other albums, he is a musical heavyweight, as few artists have reached a point that high (only Lil Wayne and T-Pain come to mind right now).
Since his reign of villainy began, DOOM has reached his astounding 16th album, Born Like This. I'm proud to report that his witty, freestyle-sounding rhymes are intact. Also intact are his eccentric lyrics, and insane super villain metaphors. He is a true character, and it makes it better for the listeners to listen to him use rapping in a way unheard of by music (I guarantee that Deltron 3030 was inspired by DOOM). Without further delay, I give you my uncanny BaRF format on DOOM's Born Like This.
Ok, now what you need to take the time out to understand is that the beats that DOOM uses aren't the kind that you're used to. He's not really the mainstream beat type. Madlib is back on this album, also the genius of the late great J Dilla. If I could compare the beats to anyone, it would be the Wu Tang Clan. Using really samples from old movies and episodes of the fantastic four cartoons back in the day is one of the many methods used by the Supervillain.
You have to really appreciate ghetto beats to fall in love with album, and this album has warmed me up more to the idea. The flows DOOM spits can't really be done any other way.
Track 3, Ballskin, is the single off of the album, and was produced by Jake One, and feels like something strut worthy of a Seattle resident (as Jake One is from there), and just as gritty as its weather.
Track 8, Batty Boys, feels like a comic book TV show chase scene put to a rap beat, which makes sense considering whose rhyming on it. The horns reminded me of a showdown between the hero and villain, during which the villain tries to escape.
But my favorite track is probably Microwave Mayo, track 12, probably because I'm a sucker for funky guitar and organs used in a beat. This one had my nodding my head so much; I forgot to listen to the lyrics the first few times through.
DOOM is not like regular MC's, because he's really off the walls with what he says. It's very eccentric and abstract. I can't really place his lyrics sometimes. But here goes... he is talking in the third person, about himself as DOOM. Instead of giving you my favorite songs as I usually do on this format, I'll give you a part of my favorite verse in the song Gazillion Ear:
It's the return of the tramp. Who do a duet jam when Earnest go to camp for the right earn. "Nawmeen?" like Vern. We need some more oil for the machines to burn. Learn. Jimminy crickets. He gets lucky like one-in-three tickets off slippery lyrics. One man's waste is another man's soap. Son's fanbase. Know the brotherman's dope. A real weirdo. With above-weird flow. And the way his hair grow as ugly as a scarecrow. He wears a mask so the charge won't grab. On a rooftop with a large stone slab. Heads up. Talk white and thought niggerish. Refused to walk tight and got his off the figurish. Black licorice and equally as yucky. How he handled the money was strictly Dan Stuckey. Monkey hustle. Man on fire. Later for the date than the Hadron Collider.
Why do I love this you might ask? It's because any rapper who talks about the Hadron Collider is an automatic nerd/fuckin' badass. Sold.
Also, listen close to track 10, Cellz, as the first part is Charles Bukowski reading 'Dinosauria, We' from the movie Born Into This. It basically gives us a look as to why the album is named that way, and accurately explains how DOOM acts on this album.
This section for this album was a bit hard to think about, because DOOM is so good on his own. But it made sense to have two of the Wu Tang Clan on this album. I'm talking about Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Honestly, there not much to say here (that and I'm pushing 1000 words already), but I did want to say that the speech that Bumpy Knuckles leaves on DOOM's voicemail on track 16, Bumpy's Message, was so true about the rap game these days.
We'll there you have it folks. Another BaRFed up review, and I know that it's messy, but look at who I'm dealing with here. In conclusion, I think that old fans will consider this one of, if the best album by DOOM. His craft has evolved over the years, where most MC's get weaker. As for the new listeners, if you ever heard the collaboration of Danger Mouse and DOOM (DangerDOOM) for Adult Swim's The Mouse & The Mask, you know the level of his flows. This is surely more of the same and better.
A final note. If I could categorize further, it can be said that DOOM is The Mars Volta of Rap, being off the wall, but having solid skills among the madness. As Morpheus says about the Matrix, no one can tell you what it is...you have to see it for yourself. But as always, I leave the choice up to you.
"Muderlizing sucker MC's!"