MF Doom - MM Food

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(Rhymesayers/Shogun)

One of hip hop’s most twisted yet most loved personalities, MF Doom is back with a new album full of exactly what you expect – tight beats, strange samples and clever rhymes.

Second only to Kool Keith for having the most aliases in hip hop, Doom has been busy of late with a handful of releases in the past twelve months. This however is his first work in 5 years under the MF Doom moniker. I’m not really sure why, but Doom is an artist I have never really delved into too deeply, despite all his hype, so I came into this review with virgin ears and initially I was not particularly impressed, however by the third listen I had begun to take in all the elements and realise how hot this album actually is.  

The beats are largely handled by Doom himself with a helping hand on one track from his past partner in crime Madlib. A sparse beat that works so well with the vocals, as well as a dark creeping eerie offering from Count Bass D who also provides a tight verse. That said the real star production wise is Doom, fusing varied samples from sci-fi shows, cartoons, adverts and other random TV shows he manages to come across, crafting each sample to tell a story - a feat not easily accomplished.

As I said before, I initially didn’t think much of this release but with each listen the beats dragged me in. From the ridiculously funky summer sounds of Deep Fried Fiendz, to the beat tracks Gumbo and Fig Leaf Bi Carbonate (yes the food theme is throughout), to the album highlight Rap Snitch Knishes, and even the somewhat corny theme track for the ladies Hoe Cakes, each beat is well and truly first class.

Lyrically MF Doom has somewhat of a lazy drunken drawl, another factor that was off putting at first but draws you to the tracks and forces you to listen. He may not be political in his themes or intent on creating party jams, but his wordplay is clever and his use of old TV shows and characters is second to none. Standouts are Hoe Cakes, Pot Holders, Deep Fried Frenz, Vomitspit and Rap Snitch Knishes.

There are a couple of guest spots, with the previously mentioned Count Bass D contribution quality, as is the work on Guinnesses where Angelika takes the verses and 4ize provides a short but sweet hook. The standout guest performance though is that of the always tight Mr Fantastik trading verses with Doom on Rap Snitch Knishes, their chemistry in the booth is brilliant and makes this track for me the pick of the album.

So, what started its listening life as a middle of the road underground hip hop release has grown and grown on me so much that it’s now challenging to be one of my favourites for the year. Fans of MF Doom will not be disappointed and I’m sure most have already snapped it up, but if you’re like me and you haven’t checked for him before do yourself a favour (how very Molly Meldrum of me) and grab a copy of this, wack it on repeat and enjoy.

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