This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Get outta here kid, ya bother me" - Danger Doom

Ever hear a record so good you want to put it on your end-of-the-year list, only to find out it came out last year and you're just late to the picnic? That's what happened to me with Danger Doom's debut album, The Mouse and the Mask. Chalk it up to me not really getting into rap until about halfway through this year, when I saw Aceyalone and Ugly Duckling perform on The Storm Tour. Guess that's just what I needed to make it click. I do have to admit, though, that lately I've been on a kick for rap, country, and metal, so I figure I might as well just shave my goatee into a soul patch, pierce an ear, buy a truck, and move to a small town somewhere.

Danger Doom is one of those made in heaven collaborations that they used to have only in jazz. I dunno why it takes those involved so much effort to realize it's a brilliant idea for a bomb MC and a killer producer to work together. Ice Cube and the Bomb Squad, Aceyalone and Rjd2, Common and Kanye West - why is it so hard to get collaborations this good?

In this instance, the two "superstars" working together are indie rap cause celebres MF Doom (also of MadVillain and about a million other pseudonyms) and Dangermouse (of the Gray Album and Gnarls Barkley). I'm surprised this got as much attention as it did, because both are very idiosyncratic and not apt to going with the mainstream verse-chorus-verse beats and monotonal flow. Dangermouse is more likely to sample Hong Kong Phooey and a free jazz solo than he is James Brown or some repetitive, three-note synthesizer hook. And really, when you look at most mainstream rap, it's like a breath of fresh air. Most of what I see on BET and MTV is just guys in retro jerseys chanting a slogan over a ringtone (say, Yung Joc or T.I. - off the tops of y'all's heads, can you remember anything from "It's Goin' Down" or "What You Know About That?" other than the title being repeated ad nauseum like some boring mantra?). I'm glad Danger Doom makes rap difficult to digest, because it forces you to actually focus on the music and words as opposed to just absentmindedly nodding your head to background noise.

Your reward is a helluva listen. MF Doom raps like meat being churned out of a grinder, which seems like it wouldn't mesh well with Dangermouse's horn-driven neo-soul and Adult Swim samples, but it fits like a specially-made glove. As with Albert Ayler, it may not always be easy to listen to, but those who stick around will definitely hear something great.


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