Despite being shadowy in it’s nature, ‘Born This Way’ isn’t without DOOM punchlines, only this time round they’re more focused, they have a sharper edge, DOOM is always tongue in cheek, but in ‘Born This Way’ he cuts deeper.
mf doom official merch – MF DOOM Told The Story Of 6ix9ine 15 Years Ago On “Rap Snitch Knishes”
With new music due later this year, the enigmatic rapper MF DOOM relaunches his GasDrawls website with an exclusive new merch drop. All things considered, DOOM’s 2009 Born Like This album was a pretty fucking emphatic comeback record. After working with the London based LEX Records on his collaboration with Dangermouse (as DANGERDOOM), DOOM hit out with another visionary solo disc. With production credits limited to himself and a small handful of trusted allies (including Madlib, Jake One and a certain J. Dilla), he reinstated his looming presence over an altered hi- hop landscape with real poise. ‘Microwave Mayo’ gets the tip here over a track like ‘Ballskin’, if only for a killer reference to Gene Roddenberry’s kitsch space adventure, Star Trek.
That’s one of things the Check the Technique chapter really drove home for me, how young KMD were (especially Subroc) when they made their two albums. They were in videos with 3rd Bass and doing songs with Brand Nubian, so to the 13-year-old me, they are basically full-on adults, but in reality they would have only been a few grades ahead of me in school.
Doom: More or less, that was about identity, and how people have problems with whether they’re black or they’re white. There’s always a black or white issue. That song is about the whole color thing and about how it’s not such a big deal. It really don’t make no difference. It was also about how a lot of white MCs were coming out of the blue at the time. Like, Now you’re on TV so you can rhyme, all of a sudden!” There was this guy Parker Lewis, I talk about him on there. That was a true story, it happened at Ed Lover’s birthday party. He was so wack, I had to put it in there. Doom continues to go off on him for a while… At the party, they applauded him because he was on TV. We take this game for real, though. Cats eat off this game.
In a matter of time this success collapsed in on KMD, as Subroc was struck and killed by a car in 1993, just on the verge of their second album Black Bastards’ release. The group was unceremoniously dropped by their label, Elektra Records, the same week, and the album was shelved due to controversial content and cover art. (Though would later become legendary in underground circles through extensive bootlegging, eventually being reissued in 2008.) Broken from the death of his brother and the music industry’s betrayal towards him, Dumile would go into hiding to lick his wounds, and plan revenge.
From one of DOOM’s best, if not THE best, projects: Madvillainy It’s next to impossible to select individual tracks from that album because the magic MF DOOM and Madlib created can best be described as an immersive experience. To let it totally sink in, you need to start at the beginning and let it run. Like you can’t pick a single chapter to show somebody how good a book is, you really can’t pick any one song of Madvillainy to show its brilliance as a total experience. To represent Madvillainy in this list we picked this track (and the #2), but that’s really short-selling the album as a whole.
Even when hip-hop was its most deeply infused with both Five Percenter philosophy and anything-goes sample culture, it rarely clicked quite like this. In a happier world, considering how talented Zev and Subroc were despite their youth (neither had yet turned 18 when Mr. Hood was recorded), this could’ve been the start of a Tribe Called Quest-calibre career for KMD.
DOOM is caught off-guard when asked about plans for an upcoming tour in what could be in support of at least five albums. Nehru’s since signed to Mass Appeal Records and enlisted DOOM and Kaytranada, among others, to produce his debut solo album I hope that it’s livelier than this.
The character himself, DOOM, will always have the mask. No one will ever see him without the mask; maybe in his own private quarters laughs. It’s important to remember that I’m not DOOM. I just write as this evil super-villain rapper named DOOM. Zev didn’t rock a mask and I have other characters that don’t wear masks too — and they all have their own thing that makes them stand out. My albums are all characters and together they’re part of this lineage of stories and albums written by me. I’m a writer. It just depends on the type of shit I wanna continue to come forth with.
One things that’s always been interesting to me about the circumstances in which Black Bastards wasn’t released in 1994 is that it happened because of music industry self-policing. The complaint mainly came from Terri Rossi, who had an R&B column in Billboard, a trade publication, and she left to become a VP of Marketing at BMG a few months after the column against Black Bastards came out. And Elektra decided to not put out the album and release KMD from their contract without any form of outsider outcry. A lot of people say that Elektra dropped them because they were still on edge from the “Cop Killer” situation and didn’t want another controversy, but part of me feels like the whole thing was more commercially or financially motivated, like they just decided to cut their losses on a group that probably wasn’t going to make them any money.
His first album, 1999’s Operation Doomsday, was a lo-fi hip-hop classic, featuring a cadre of reworked quiet-storm beats and oblique word puzzles. As an emcee, his flow is a blunt instrument, rumbling over a track’s rhythm, oftentimes oblivious to the beat. He relies on words to draw out rhythm, cramming lines with inner rhymes and alliteration. The album acquired a cult following, and when DOOM returned in 2003, the world was ready. He released classics Madvillainy, Take Me to Your Leader and Vaudeville Villain under different aliases within a 10-month period in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, he collaborated with hit-making producer Danger Mouse as Danger Doom; their album, The Mouse and the Mask, became a mainstream hit. MF Doom’s latest is 2009’s Born Like This.
Negus, a dirtier number with the production side sounding akin to the ‘Born This Way’ – ‘Keys to the Kuffs’ DOOM era. Importantly, it features the late Sean Price and is a track which will feature on Sean Price’s posthumous album, ‘Imperious Rex’. There is also a verse from Ike Eyez on the track, but is only available on the ‘Imperious Rex’ album, not the Adult Swim release. It’s also worth noting, as is commonplace on a posthumous release, Sean Price’s verse on Negus was recorded for a different project, in this case from Impossible Dream on a Ras Kass record.
As such, the idea of picking out DOOM’s essential tracks is kind of akin to picking your favourite teenage sexual conquest: they all have their own shape, merit and (physically arousing) memories tied to them. Often, as in the case of DOOM’s King Geedorah album on Big Dada or the first Viktor Vaughn album, the records are thematic and individual pieces are tied quite closely to the tracks that surround them. Knowing that one can’t just post YouTube links to entire albums for you to listen to, digest and fall in love with at your own pace, what follows is a collection of highlights from the career of one of hip-hop’s most prolific underground artists.
That track ended up being 3rd Bass’ smash single The Gas Face ,” which appeared in 1989 on Def Jam and featured Zev as a guest on vocals, alongside Serch and his 3rd Bass rhyme partner, Pete Nice. The entire song was, in fact, based on a term that Zev himself had coined. With the addition of being in the song’s video, he was quickly vaulted into the public eye, despite still being in high school.
DOOM finds not one but two phrases that rhyme with Meatwad” over twanging guitar and drums. DOOM hosts a talk show over eerie alien whispers on one track and raps about the wonders of urine over blaring horns on another. DOOM and guest Talib Kweli reminded me that cartoons be realer than reality TV” on Old School Rules” and I haven’t forgotten it since.
Today’s music landscape consists of a wellspring of lofi producers who pull from old jazz samples and hip-hop beats to create a vision of their perfect backing soundtrack. Freddie Joachim is a producer in a class all his own. Born in the Philippines and raised in San Diego, California, Joachim’s music career started as a passion. An avid collector of hip-hop, jazz, and soul records, Joachim first began djing in the ’90s which inevitably led to a career as a full-fledged producer. Holding true to the iconic sounds that originally piqued his interest in music, his production talents have been sought out by the likes of J. Cole, Aloe Blacc, and Joey Bada$$. If there is music made to study, and relax to, it is Joachim’s.
People often ask what if” about DOOM, even if he’s already long since given fans more than enough music to ensure a status as one of the all-time underground greats – we know there has to be more, because every time he appears he clicks back into his classic mode, often with a new angle or two, and writes rhymes like he’s literally incapable of using the same thought twice. So few hip-hop artists are more frustrating in their absence and more rewarding when they resurface.
In late January 2009, Lex records confirmed DOOM’s new album title to be Born Like This, and that the MF” would be dropped from his name, now just DOOM. The album was released worldwide on March 24, 2009. As a teaser, the track Ballskin” was posted on Doom’s Myspace page on January 13, 2009. Snippets of the entire album were made available for streaming on DOOM’s MySpace on the album’s release date. The title for the album was inspired by the poem Dinosauria, We” by 1970s and 1980s poet Charles Bukowski. DOOM samples a performance of the poem by Bukowski on the track Cellz.” Previously, DOOM used a Bukowski sample for a vocal interlude on 2004’s All Outta Ale.” Thom Yorke of Radiohead remixed the track Gazillion Ear,” which is available as an iTunes-only bonus track. June 26, 2009 Kurious released ‘II’ which featured DOOM on the song Benetton”.
Losing your brother and being dropped by your record label in the same week can do things to your psyche. Dumile fell off the grid for several years to collect himself and re-emerged at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York, adorned in a metal mask. He was scorned by the industry the same way Doctor Doom thought the world had shunned him when he fucked up that science experiment in college. Operation: Doomsday was his rebirth.
And then on April 23, 1993, the still-teenaged DJ Subroc was struck and killed by a car when attempting to cross the Nassau Expressway on foot, taking away both a beloved family member and a partner in a musical act that was already on the verge of getting the boot. In an early ’90s timeframe still leery of hip-hop that wasn’t suit-and-tie rap cleaner than a bar of soap, the gun-slinging youthful defiance (‘Get-U-Now’; ‘Gimme’ ) and frequent weed-smoking anthems (‘Contact Blitt’; ‘Smokin’ That S#%’) only compounded the sense of cold feet that Elektra had about an album that they’d eventually shelve permanently.
The meeting of producer Madlib with DOOM for Madvillainy proved to be one of the most accomplished albums in hip-hop history. Released in 2004 by Stones Throw, the much anticipated final product mutually exposed both to a wider rap audience, as well as being furiously lauded across the board by mainstream music publications.