Vinyl Vlog 556

Vinyl Vlog 556

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Tuesday, 21 June 2022
COLUMN

MF Doom
Operation: Doomsday

photo: turntablelab.com

Pity the state of mainstream hip hop. Seriously, pity it. I’ve completely tuned out and shun it. It’s one of those weird situations where I don’t listen to it, but I just know it sucks. I was in an Uber the other day and speaking to the driver, who was a rap fan and had insights into the process. I could pinpoint what I disliked about it, and he had names for these different elements. He assured me it’s all pretty terrible. Every time a rapper starts a feud or clothing line selling $500 shirts, the artform dies a little.

Then there’s MF Doom, who’s so good, it’s almost like he’s a different genre altogether. The man was elusive, only putting out albums as MF Doom sporadically, and focusing more on collaboration albums. It’s frustrating when you’re chomping at the bits for a new release, but then again, maybe Doom is interested in giving props where it’s due. Instead of applying the think tank approach to making albums, herding a team of writers and producers to do it for them, then calling it *their* album, Doom wants to make it clear that this is a group effort. We covered the vital Mm FOOD release on a previous Vinyl Vlog, and now we’re bringing it all back home with how it all started Operation: Doomsday.

Operation: Doom is MF Doom’s debut after the demise of his previous group KMD, and it’s nothing short of a classic. Produced by MF Doom himself, Operation: Doom consists of mostly lo fi beats in the genre of soul, jazz, with interspersed cartoon sampling. Most surprisingly, of course, is MF Doom himself, with a slightly less mumbley and a higher pitched delivery. The man is already completely formed into the force we know and love, freeform, stream of conscious, with high speed delivery, a murky inconsistent flow, and verbose rhymes. Thematically, Operation: Doomsday is about death, rebirth, and trauma. The man has certainly experienced his fair share at this point. This album is full of classics like Gas Drawls, Dead Bent, and Red and Gold: jumping off points for MF Doom fans.

This wonderful reissue by Get On Down records remasters the original and it’s sounding better than before. We’re also getting a double LP on gatefold with that beautiful artwork front and center. Inside there’s also a giant foldout poster, just waiting to grace your walls. This is simply the proper release of this album.

MF Doom is so underappreciated that I’m starting to believe he’s a rapper’s rapper. Operation: Doomsday is not just a classic and a masterpiece, it’s a blueprint for making good rap music. It belongs in everyone’s collection. RIP to the great one.

Get it from Get On Down.

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