Review Summary: "This is the news: shh! You see what I’m sayin’? HEAR ME THIS! This crazy nigga comes on the radio! So the key is, put a little bit a white people up in there and you got it! And these are- these are the way they say things, see these are the way they
say things, see what I’m saying? So, now. look at this! A month later! ALL OF A SUDDEN!… the CRACK! Uh… uh… ‘OK, So well… you know, that’s just a coincidence.' See what I’m sayin’? Look at the magnitude of this! Yeah you got a little bitta crack but, I’m tryin to say, MY GOD, you understand what I’m sayin’?"
MF DOOM is one of the weirdest rappers, if not people, on earth. We’re talking about a guy in his forties who looks like the real life version of Fat Albert that goes around wearing a metal mask and pretending he is the super-villain from the comic book Fantastic Four. He purposely uses Cockney rhymin’ slang and idioms in his raps just to make his songs sound weird initially, while he layers his lyrics with so many references that when you actually go back and understand the lines, they are funky
. Depending on if you find this either: weird, funny, or cool, you will, respectively, hate, like or love DOOM.
The theme of the album that plays on the album title Key to the Kuffs
, is that almost all the songs are written in this kind of humorous code, even more so than any of DOOM’s past material. This album discretely underpins the increasingly popular theories of a covert world government, under the ostensible United Nations program “Agenda 21”. If you really want to figure out what he’s saying, you can find out, but it takes more than just reading the lyrics on Rapgenius.com, and hence lies the genius in DOOM’s music. Many, if not most of, his lyrics go over the heads of most everyone, except his closest and wisest followers, and even they have to look up what Eyjafjallajökull is.
On Key to the Kuffs
, DOOM picked from a catalogue of beats made by the essentially unknown producer Jneiro Jarel, AKA JJ. This gives the album an extremely unique sound (a more electronic sound) compared to anything DOOM has done in the past, and is one that DOOM, as usual, inexplicably adapts to comfortably. DOOM explained:
It’s humor from a real point of view. It’s typical DOOM sh1t. JJ does Electronic beats and ***. You gotta give it up to J.J. That nigga’s nice. I chose the ones to rhyme on but he got a lot of ***. Some of it was way out there. It’s still ill but it’s not what I can translate to the people. I chose the beats that I could do and people would know where I’m coming from but it’s still different enough. It’s my favorite *** right now. I listen to it back-to-back. Before I put a record out, I make sure that me, my wife and my kids could listen to that ***. It passed that test. Nahmean?
On tracks like “Wash Your Hands”, the beat clearly was intended for a completely different purpose than what DOOM used it for, the end result is a hilarious satire of club music that uses a story of DOOM as a germaphobe. While always staying relevant with the times, DOOM drops witty and funny rhymes every time his voice is heard on this album:
Gold is up, urgin’ all thugs, to trade in their chains for cash and start splurgin’ on drugs
The production is mind-blowing on many tracks, such as the song “Bite the Thong” where JJ uses outer space sounds for the beat... literally: one of the background sounds comes from NASA’s audio recording of outer space from the space station, and the beat uses space-progressive rock sounds to give this song a out-of-body atmosphere. This kind of song shows that DOOM is a lot more than just a comedy act, and while being serious is actually when he creates masterpiece songs like “Winter Blues” and “Gmo”. “Gmo” is by far the best song, not only on this album, but in rap during the year of 2012. In traditional DOOM style, he makes a song that sounds incredibly incoherent the first time through, until you pick up on the meaning of the title and the point of the song: which is about GMO’s: Genetically Modified Organisms. What initially sounded like random gibberish turns into a song with unmatched wit and scientific subject matter, over a eerily- perfect guitar-oriented beat provided by Beth Gibbons of Portishead.
Whoever use canola oil ya soul'll boil
For a longer time it take a diet cola to spoil
Uh… I get what you're sellin'!
Swellin' from alien microfilaments it's Morgellons
Even if you're gellin' What's that in your melon?
And what the hell is they sprayin'? No tellin'
Barium strontium, aluminum
Well drink responsibly, get the jewel from DOOM and them
Can't trust the tap water much less the kettle
Double entendre to the phrase test your mettle
The rest'll settle, just to get fed well
As the livin' dead infect the red cell
The sole problem with this album is the short length and lack-luster features. JJ is an average rapper, and when put on stage next to arguably the cleverest rapper to ever live, he comes across as urgently skippable. The best feature on this album (aside from JJ’s one surprisingly excellent verse on Gmo) is Boston Fielder on the song “Bout the Shoes”, which is a song in a music genre of its own. DOOM described this track as
A nice break in the album. It’s a new style. I wouldn’t consider it Neo Soul. It’s almost like old school House. You know how with House the male singers be singing but they hit the high note? It reminds me of that *** but it’s the updated Hip Hop ***. To me, that ***’s bugged.”
On most of DOOM’s albums you have to put up with a lot of skits and instrumentals, and this is no exception. The skits “Waterlogged” and “Snatch That Dough”, plus the instrumental “Viberian Sun” take up just under six minutes, leaving this album with just 36 minutes of rap music! When DOOM says he’s a villain he’s not kidding.
Although I would give 'album of 2012' to Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music
because it flows better as an entire CD, this album has a 4-5 tracks that are far better than anything on R.A.P. Music
, but also has a few tracks worth skipping. This is how most of DOOM’s CD’s wind up however, a collection of 5-8 brilliant songs released on a short album with too many skits/instrumentals/features that do provide atmosphere to the other tracks, but aren't worth listening to alone, by themselves. Yet, if you want rap gold, you need to do some digging, and there isn't too much digging to be done on this CD at all, its just short. This CD is painfully underrated by those who have heard it only a few times, and has not gotten 1/100th of the ratings it deserves. DOOM’s weird persona and style has always clearly been what has turned people off before they could ever properly appreciate his music, but on this album we see DOOM being so eccentric that he even went over the heads of some of his old followers.
Best Tracks (In Order, if not mentioned: I skip it)
Wash Your Hands
Bite the Thong
Bout the Shoes