Review : DOOM - Born Like This
Slant magazinDaniel Dumile has worn a variety of aliases and identitites over the course of his unique, lengthy career, evolving in fits and starts from black-nationalistic boom-bap (KMD's Mr. Hood) to hermetically sealed pot worship (Madvillain's Madvillainy), to cartoon-assisted hooliganism (Dangerdoom's The Mouse and the Mask). For his reentry into the rap game after three and a half years of near-complete silence, the enigmatic MC known most recently as MF Doom has dropped the initials from the front of his name and flagged the rest in audacious all-caps. Given the boldness of the new DOOM moniker, the length of his recording drought, and the Andy-Kaufman-esque antics of 2007, when the Internet swirled with rumors that a mask-wearing impostor—and not the rapper himself—was appearing at MF Doom shows and lip-synching over prerecorded vocals, his new record, Born Like This, wants to be received as a true event.
Taking its title from a Charles Bukowski poem, "Dinosauria, We," which is quoted in full at the beginning of the track "Cellz," Born Like This stands out from other DOOM-related projects in that it cultivates a palpably dark mood. Up until now, DOOM was always ready with punchlines galore; he was the rare rapper willing to make fun of himself for the sake of a joke. On Born Like This, there's been a bit of a shift toward seriousness, though one hardly gets the feeling that DOOM has suddenly entered the Jay-Z school of self-importance. Songs like "Absolutely," which revolves around the truism "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," "Rap Ambush," which transports the rap battle to a firefight between local insurgents and out-matched soldiers, and "Cellz," with its apocalyptic and menacing tone, rub up against more typical DOOM free-associative conventions. The whispery, Madlib-helmed production "Absolutely" is probably the strongest of this trio, and "Rap Ambush" is an entertaining execution of admittedly unambitious conceit. But still, few people were expecting DOOM to return as an angry granddad, and even fewer will think these songs represent a worthwhile transformation....full text
Guardian"Born like this/ Into this/ As the chalk faces smile/ As Mrs Death laughs/ As the elevators break/ As political landscapes dissolve." The first album from Daniel Dumile's latest pseudonym takes its name from Charles Bukowski's poem Dinosauria, We, whose opening lines are sampled here on the B-movie apocalypse of Cellz. The late writer's tale of "hospitals which are so expensive it's cheaper to die... a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed" functions both as a prophesy of doom and a shadow biography of DOOM....full text
Hiphopgalaxy.MF Doom fans take note : the Vaudeville Villain’s forthcoming new album "Born Like This" sees the metal-masked rapper dropping the MF (for Metal Fingers) in favor of simply calling himself, in all caps, DOOM.
The album also features collaborations with the likes of Wu-Tang’s Raekwon and Ghostface and production from Jake One and the Detroit legend J-Dilla, prior to his death.
But not content to leave it at that, DOOM remains one of the few hip-hop artists who could theme his album on something, let alone someone, has uniquely non-hip-hop as the great American everyman poet Charles Bukowski....full text
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