It’s been a long time comin’. DOOM’s Born Like This is finally here. It’s been about 4 years since MF Doom last released an album. It’s been about 4 years since MF really did…..anything.
A lot has changed since he last cut an album, the 2005 cartoon-laced collaboration with Danger Mouse known as Danger Doom. He now simply goes by DOOM. It’s All Caps, just like one of his 2004 Madvillainy tracks suggests. And his voice has gotten raspier. So, how has DOOM repaid us for all those years of inactivity?
The best way possible: A triumphant return to independent/underground hip-hop.
Seriously, Born Like This is probably one of the better rap albums I’ve heard since that infamous Madvillain album. A totally different league than anything last year’s darling, Lil’ Wayne, has ever produced. It’s a serious head trip.
The first track on the album “Gazillion Ear” is an infectious number that showcases DOOM’s production/lyrics unlike ever before. And follow ups like “Ballskin” and “Rap Ambush” solidify the pace for the album. Fast, aggressive, and often unlike most rap albums you’ve heard.
Born Like This is probably his most character-heavy album. He’s always brought a persona to his albums, however the DOOM (Marvel Comics’ Dr. Doom) persona is really felt this time around. For the most part, it’s great (“That’s That”). Other times, it’s a little too much. This is really evident in the nearly homophobic “Batty Boyz,” where DOOM raps about how gay superheroes are. Explicitly. Also, on the track “Supervillainz,” which the beat starts, stops, stutters, and dies so much that it’s almost unlistenable.
Another issue that time has certainly strengthened is DOOM’s song structure. On his own, DOOM’s beats had a tendency to go too long. Most of 2003’s Mm…Food? is a good example of this. This time around, his songs are shorter and never outstay their welcome (aside from the aforementioned “Supervillainz”) And sometimes, the tracks are so good, you’d wish they’d stick around a little bit longer (“Still Dope” and “More Rhymin'”)
Born Like This is a brainy,zany, and uncanny hip hop album that gets better with every listen. Like his previous solo efforts, there a few duds (just the 2 this time around), but the flow of the album and creative beats on the other 15 tracks make it easy to overlook.
It’s good to have the Metalface back.