Review Summary: Who got more snottier flows than snotty nose?/And holds mics like he knows karate body blows
MF Doom is a mush-mouthed lyricist straight from New York, the mother of hip hop that nobody visits anymore. Doom, since his beginning of his career with his brother Subroc as KMD, made a consistent and superb rap career for himself, keeping a considerably samey feeling among most of his albums. But since that’s so, it’s always a wonder and an amazement of how much Doom has changed since his eccentric soulful debut Operation: Doomsday, an album that is of lesser level in terms of MCing than the rest of his albums, but a considerably higher level of production and emotion.
Operation: Doomsday is an excellent debut for any artist to have jumped on, but Doom comes right at the challenge with no self doubt. His rhyming here is just as it would be later, albeit more out-rightously humorous and occasionally more relate-able to a New York rapper from the early 90s. He occasionally spits social commentary (“Only in America could you find a way to make a healthy buck/And still keep your attitude on self-destruct” on “Rhymes Like Dimes”), but Doom mostly keeps to his unique use of the punchline and bizarre pop culture references, which especially shows itself on “Go With The Flow” and “(Questionmark)” (“My man Grimm had his little monkey like Space Ghost/Me myself I got flavors that out-taste most/With numb gums, some rhymers is lake toast/Back to you MF Doom, you late show host” and “Who give a *** about who or they fancy crew/That's no mystery that Hardy Boys do with Nancy Drew” respectively.) The only problem with Doom’s MCing is his flow, which ranges from completely professional like the flow-flippin “Dead Bent”, to the his completely awkward pushing of words on “Hey”, and frankly that was only something that would be solved through years of experience.
What makes Operation: Doomsday so great though, and puts it on a slight pedestal from the rest of Doom’s album, is the production. The production manages to mix Doom’s genius sampling ideas, an old school posturing on drums, and some influence from R&B. The production stand-outs include on the soothing, easy-listening “Doomsday”, the tempo shape-shifting effect of “Tick Tock”, the oddly evil sounding Scooby Doo sampling on “Hey”, and the middle eastern woodwinds of “Who You Think I Am”, but they all manage to provide a diverse and cool soundtrack for Doom to spit his craziness over.
MF Doom’s debut isn’t nearly as good as the indie ‘rap’ crowd hypes it up to be, but in a world where rap releases have both amazing songs and awful songs, it’s oddly solid song-wise, with no real ‘bad’ song to speak of. Operation: Doomsday is fairly accessible considering the odd R&B drawl (especially on “The Mic”), so it’s recommended for the average rap fan as a start for their journey deeper into the rap world.