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May 11, 2009 | by  | in Music |
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Doom – Born Like This (Lex)

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely / Now you have your orders, do your duty.”

Minus the MF, DOOM is back with his first full-length release of new material in three years, and what’s more, he’s come back sounding angry. Politcal angry. DOOM’s rasp is as muffled as ever, while his wordplay retains its obtuse polysyllabic complexities, but once you fully immerse yourself in the raw productions (courtesy of DOOM himself, regular contributor Madlib, Jake One, and the deceased J-Dilla, whose volume of beyond the grave product is starting to venture dangerously into 2Pac conspiracy theory territory) you’ll start to filter out occasional moments of irony and vitriol from the stream of consciousness muck and nonsense.

So what happened? Well, apparently the man discovered Bukowski, whose bleak apocalyptic poem Dinosauria, We (sampled on key cut ‘Cellz’), provides the album with its title. DOOM’s absurd humor is still present, as are the old cartoonish samples, but DOOM has done more than just recycle old tricks. Rather he’s using them as a kind of mask, enabling him to practise a newfound technique: subversion. A verse from the warbley-beat highlight ‘That’s that’ demonstrates the potency of DOOM’s newfound mix of humor, lyrical genius and scathing social critique nicely:

“Star like Obama, pull a card like oh drama! / Civil liberties / These little titties abilities riddle me, middle C / Give a MC a rectal hysterectomy / Electron removal of the bowls, foul technically / Don’t expect to see the recipe / Until we receive the check as well as the collection fee / More wreck than section Z / What you expect to get for free?”

To DOOM’s credit, he keeps things brief (the album is only 40 minutes long), and manages to steer clear of tirade territory. Well chosen guest appearances help add some effective variety too. Wu stalwarts Ghostface and Raekwan both make appearances, as do underground legends Freddie Foxxx (credited here as Bumpy Knuckles) and Slug. Of that quartet, Rae makes the biggest impact, rolling back the years with a menacing verse over DOOM’s vintage, RZA inspired, beat on the standout ‘Yessir!’

Unfortunately, DOOM makes a serious misstep with ‘Batty Boyz’, an unfortunate homophobic rant that automatically costs DOOM some points. Lines like “Becomes a problem when they try an attempt to go straight / And raise the monster rate in the whole population” are disgraceful pieces of macho bravado that give it instant throwaway status. Still, the rest of the Born Like This is so compelling that I can’t quite bring myself to flat-out dismiss it, so I guess I’m going to cop-out and instead label it a strong, though flawed, comeback.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Rather he’s using them as a kind of mask.”

    Nicely done

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