Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Great DOOM interview with Clash Music

Finally! An actual interview with the Villain...

DOOM - Clash Q&A
Clash speaks to the enigmatic (MF) DOOM...

Interview Posted by
Mike Diver Tue, 17/03/2009

The man has many faces, many monikers through which he channels a singular vision of hip-hop that’s been allowed to expand in the margins without coercion from corporate suits and label politics.

But here, now, today, he is simply DOOM.

Daniel Dumile’s widest-known alter ego has dropped his ‘MF’ prefix for album three, ‘BORN LIKE THIS’ (the name is taken from a Charles Bukowski poem), but the British-born and New York-based rapper’s ear for the absurd in anyone else’s hands, his love of experimentation and sculpting designs anew, remains absolutely apparent. Five years may have passed since his last solo offering, ‘MM..Food’ (an anagram of his name, FYI), but DOOM hasn’t been lazing about, resting on his laurels.

In the same year as ‘MM..Food’, 2004, he released the ‘Madvillainy’ album, a collaborative effort with acclaimed producer Madlib (a follow-up is in the works); 19 months later, ‘The Mouse And The Mask’ emerged, showcasing DOOM’s vocals alongside beats and pieces from white-hot studio wiz Danger Mouse. So, while DOOM as a solo artist has been off the scene, his rhymes have found their place in the public’s ear – both collaborations took Dumile to a new level of recognition.

And it’s this raised profile that ensures Clash gets 30 minutes phone time with the man himself. It’s late here but early there, and DOOM’s just getting started…

Hey, that Mike?

Yeah. This the man himself?
(Laughs) Yeah, I guess you could call me that.

Well, you’ve adopted enough identities. Got a day of talking about yourself or is this one of just a handful?
No, I got ‘em back to back, with about ten minutes in between to play video games and clear my mind. You’re like number three on the list, so I’m rolling right now.

Good times. Well let’s talk ‘BORN LIKE THIS’. Must be a great feeling having a solo record out after five years ‘away’…
Oh well, it feels good to have it done – when it comes out, well, that could always take another five years. But the fact that it’s done, and completed, that to me is a huge thing. It’s great that people get to hear it.

Do you see the collaborative records as being part of the same process, the same continuity?
Yeah, I guess so. It feels that way, but it’s part of a whole bigger thing – every record plays its part. It’s a continuation – like, one will branch off into two or three, and then they’ll branch off too. Fractals, all day.

What’s the thinking behind dropping the ‘MF’ this time out? A development of the character, or simple aesthetic preference?
It’s a combination of the two, really – I feel like this record is more of a personal view of the mind of the character. Like, if the listener is in the character’s body, reading their thoughts, if you can imagine that; [previous solo albums] ‘Operation: Doomsday’ and ‘MM..Food’, those had the perspective from the outside, with the character speaking on whatever everybody else is seeing of him. In that respect, it’s not as formal. It’s not MF Doom, it’s DOOM, just the guy. You’re getting into the mind of the character. That’s really what it’s about. So just call me DOOM. What’s your last name?

So, people might call you Mr Diver, but some might call you Mike, and people might be calling out, “Hey, Mr Diver!” But you’ll be like, “Just call me Mike.” So it seemed funny after a while being called MF Doom all the time.

As you’ve written from various character perspectives, do you ever get mixed up as to what voice you’re in?
I wouldn’t say mixed up, I tend to just let the thoughts come to me and not think about it too much. But then once you get the thought, that’s when I begin writing, and it may pertain to the next record, or a totally different one. I catalogue everything, so as long as I write everything down, after a while they add up and you can put them in their respective slots.

This album’s taken its time in reaching us…
I would say it took about three years to do this record, and that’s the longest any of my records have taken. It’s always been in thought, but I’d say it’s been about three years. And it just took that long; it needed that much attention, I think. It’s layered, but it’s not overdone. I’m doing a lot of experimental things with the production, too, which took time to craft and put down. I’d listen to things two months after I’d done them, to see if they passed my test – I don’t want to use the public as guinea pigs. It can be like Frankenstein – you can’t just run out there in the street like that.

And we all know how that turned out. You’ve some J Dilla productions on ‘BORN LIKE THIS’ (Dilla died in 2006, information) – do you feel you’re doing the right thing in terms of helping to sustain his legacy?
Yeah, and at the same time he’s helping us too, in his special way. He did a lot of work and then he left us, but he was ahead of his time, totally. I got some Dilla beats that nobody’s heard, and it sounds as fresh as anything today. We always spoke about getting something done, so this is it happening.

So even though he’s not around, now is the right time?
Oh yeah, it’s the right time. When I’m listening to those beats, it’s like I’m talking to him. When you clear your mind, you really can talk to anybody, because you understand what they would say from the inkling and understanding you have of them, and more often than not it’s 99.9 per cent correct. So it’s natural, it’s like he’s right here. It’s like a written letter, or code. If you listen to [J Dilla’s acclaimed album] ‘Donuts’, that as an instrumental piece is bonkers. I mean, the arrangements and slight nuances that separate it from a collection of four-bar loops… There are certain things that needed to be done by hand. That record is like a conversation piece in itself, so I tried to add my lyrics to enhance this convo.

There’s no doubt the man made his mark, in an albeit brief career.
He was a good dude, and I’m sure he touched everyone hard. He was the friendliest guy I ever met, always with a smile on his face. I had a thousand questions for him, and I still have them. And we’d kick things back and forth… But he’s a pro, he was the best of all of us.

We’ve recently been speaking to Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio, and he told us that ‘Madvillainy’ was his favourite album of 2004. Fair to say that the album was the vehicle for DOOM to cross into new audiences?
I don’t think that was intentional, but the creativity exceeded what was labelled hip-hop at the time. It did sound a lot different, so I think its appeal comes down to that – people’s desire to hear something different. It appealed to people who just love music, y’know? The thing about that record was that Madlib already had all his beats done, so I was just picking them out and doing rhymes as they came into my mind. But his production style on that record, it’s similar to how ‘Donuts’ is – it’s so textured, with so many short beats. It wasn’t hard to be interested in it, and it sounded so fresh.

So you laid down your vocals pretty swiftly?
If I had thought too much about it, it might not have ended up the way it did. That was the only way I could work. Like, I’d hear a beat, and ask myself what the first thing I thought of was. Like, the song ‘Fancy Clown’ – that particular song, I heard the beat but he already had the loop, the music and the little voice sample in there. All I had to do is listen and go: “Oh, this is what I’d do right here, and then I stop right here…” His arrangements were already there. In a good way, it was a go-with-the-flow process, and I think that comes through.

Definitely. And that energy’s evident on ‘BORN LIKE THIS’, too.
Yeah, no doubt. We made sure it didn’t lose that. If I’m the producer of a project, I can lose myself in it unless I’m paying attention. This one took a longer time because I had a lot more to do with the mixing and all that stuff. But I still work to the same method – hear the beat, as soon as the idea’s there I write it down, and then do it and don’t try to do it again. A couple of times I’ve tried to do songs better, where I’ve missed a line, but the first time is almost always the best time – everything after that is an imitation of the first time, and it’s only ever going to be a different version of that first one. The human mind says you’ve already done it, so I kept the first takes – they exude that energy, around all the complex arrangements.

So the vocals came quickly, the music not so?
The arrangements took the time – the storyline, putting things together piece by piece and experimenting with the drums. But some vocals I did two and a half years ago, and some I did a few months ago. It’s spread out across time. I got a better microphone at one point, but it didn’t make the older tracks any better so I kept them the same. The end product’s a sort of collage of whatever happened over those three years.

So there’s plenty of ‘off cuts’, presumably?
I’ve got a whole 500GB drive full of ‘BORN LIKE THIS’ pieces – this track slower, this one louder. I always keep track of what’s the first one, so I don’t lose it. But I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff – I never throw anything away, and I often go back to it at a later date.

Was there anything you went back to on this album, that you’d initially written a lot earlier?
Yep, yep. There’s this ‘Batty-Boys’ song that I did a while back, and I thought it was too edgy. But I listened to it again, and it always had that fizz with it, so I had to be on there, and I feel now is the time for that convo, when it loses a little of its edge but is still like, “Oh shit, did he just say that?” ‘Absolutely’ is another one I did a long time ago, and I’m like, that’s how I feel. There was stuff going on in the media, stuff in the streets with police violence. These are real things. Have you heard about Oscar Grant? He got shot in Oakland. And Sean Bell in Queens, who was going to a bachelor party and the police shot him. So that’s what was going on. I did the song a little before Sean Bell, but that event reaffirmed why I did it. I wondered if the song was right, but when the Oscar Grant thing happened, it was like this shit has to stay on the record. It’s like something that needs to be heard, and a point of view that a lot of people have. We need to stop these things from happening.

I think hip-hop is, at times, the most accurate musical voice on the state of the nation, if you will – the nation representing a microcosm of the far wider world.
Yeah well, I just try to keep it to starting conversations about these things. It’s interesting listening to this story writing. But I don’t see myself as this kinda, “Here’s my goal” kinda guy – but I think as a human being that can happen naturally. Like, what do I talk about? I can only brag about my own little world so much, but maybe the more people recognise that one’s world is a microcosm of the wider one, the better we’ll be. I can touch upon a wide variety of topics. I feel that there’s a social commentary if you will, an editorial.

But you’re still able to add humour to your music…
I mean, you add satire and it makes it comfortable to hear back. But these kind of things are what I’m thinking about, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one. So, I think: “What can I say about this?” I look to push the envelope and start conversations that haven’t started.

You’ve got Tony Starks, or Ghostface Killah, on the record on ‘Angelz’, which leads me to ask about the GhostDOOM collaborative album, ‘Swift & Changeable’. Is that going to see the light of day?
Aaaah, it’s in the works. I’m gonna do the project anyway, but ‘til now the funding’s not been there. So I’ve finished this record, and I’ve started work on the next Madvillain record, so I’m keeping active. But if people keep asking for the GhostDOOM record, it’ll get done. I’m actually always thinking about it, so it’s still formulating. By the time I get some more beats and lyrics down for it, it’ll be like: SMASH.

You sound like the kind of artist who’s always working on something.
Definitely. Even when I was working on this one, I could see where things could lead, towards other records. There are all kinds of possibilities. I get constant reminders about projects, but the way the creative mind works is that you’re always on it anyway. In the few years I’ve been working on this album, I’ve kind of found a comfort zone where I have a channel for creativity – have your mind right, know yourself, don’t get too caught up on it. It’s important to step back sometimes, as that natural flow keeps creativity high.

So you are able to step away from the process from time to time, for a little perspective?
Oh yeah, totally. It’s nature – everything does that. It breathes. We’re not constantly in it, or else you couldn’t breathe. You have to exhale in order for the oxygen to pump to the blood, and ultimately gain more oxygen. It goes in waves like that – everything does. And once you figure that out, you’re set right.

Do you keep track of the more business side of your career? I see that as the only way an artist can ensure longevity today, by monitoring how they’re being represented.
I am involved in the business side, but I do keep those sides separated. Sometimes I might need a mouthpiece to speak to the business, but I am hands-on when I need to be. Some people’s natural thing is to be distant, but I think you have to have an interest. You have to get your point across right.

You’ve a couple of other guests on the LP, alongside Ghostface…
There’s a joint I have with a female MC that I produce, Empress Star. That’s me showing my production side, and capturing part of the storyline and carrying it with distinct different voices. But it’s still in the mind’s eye of DOOM, though, and that’s what’s going to come through more on this record than the others – another perspective on how everything that’s said happens.

Do you think that certain rappers have fallen foul of having too many guests on an album, and they’ve therefore lost some of their own identity?
Right, it did get out of hand. You can tell corporate structures started getting their hands in the decision making, and the artists didn’t care because they were promised that million dollars when the record sells. It started to be more of a money thing than a craft, and certain artists get the idea that they’re the biggest, and the best, so they get complacent and don’t give their new music the attention of their first record, the reason why they blew up. They don’t give it the thought and the care. They just think about buying another Bentley. I never get complacent. I tried to do that once, but found myself saying: “Stop! What are you doing?” Fuck it, I had to try though. I make records that I want to hear, and I’m sticking with my people. These cats you might not have heard of, but they fit the story.

Finally, I’ve got to ask about touring… Any plans to come visit the UK for this release?
Maybe, I’m working on it. You’ll definitely hear me but you might not see me, because it’ll be dark in there. But you’ll hear me rocking. The more people that request that I tour, the closer it’ll get to happening.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Monday, March 30, 2009

DOOM speaks to Creative Loafing

Once again, not many words to share...

What the MF, DOOM?

Published 03.30.09
By Phillip Mlynar
DOOM's most infamous public appearance in Atlanta could best be called a caper.

Booked to perform at MJQ Concourse in December 2007, most accounts allege he sent along a stand-in to perform — an imposter who subsequently strutted off stage after 20 minutes of maligned lip-sync action.

This time around, DOOM's definitely in the house, holding court at Django's on Peachtree Street, ostensibly to promote his latest album, Born Like This, the project which sparked his all-caps name change and takes its title from a line in the Charles Bukowski poem, "Dinosauria, We."

A uniformed cop stands guard at the door, where the codeword "villain" must be given to enter. Upstairs, it's as if DOOM has turned the venue into a hideout. The masked man himself sits center stage behind a large table. There's a laptop to one side, a closely guarded metal case with undisclosed contents to the other, and four cronies with identities obscured by balaclavas and stockings over their faces fill out the scene.

Sitting like the boss of operations, DOOM says in that distinctive buttery voice of his, "I'm in here every day. This is like the club house."

Three hours later, after they've made their way downstairs for a photo shoot and ravaged the bar, DOOM and his troops will exit the scene, strutting out through the front door in an organized single-file line. No one among the bar staff seems to have ever seen DOOM in the venue before. Of course, most have no idea who he's supposed to be, either. Chalk another one up to ol' Metal Face's ongoing and highly engaging smoke and mirrors show.

Whether you're still fuming over $30 spent on a ticket for DOOM's alleged no-show show, or whether you're willing to accept that the stunt was all part of DOOM's masked persona at work - as confessed in an open letter to Elemental magazine back in 2005 after he sent a hype man to pose as him for a cover shoot - there are few characters in the world of music more intriguing than the various incarnations of DOOM, cooked up by Daniel Dumile.

From behind his fabled metal mask (actually one of four currently in rotation), Doom has taken creative and commercial liberties, licensing various personas to a litter of labels. He's recorded under alter egos ranging from King Gheedorah, a three-headed monster, to vaudeville villain Viktor Vaughn.

His songs brim with the same seductive obliqueness. Few DOOM verses are straight-forward, and few lyricists pull off the balancing act between being tricky and memorable with such prowess. Now with Radiohead's Thom Yorke and indie rock darlings TV On the Radio remixing tracks from Born Like This, DOOM's prepped to amplify his rhymed musings on the largest scale yet.

But for those who can't help but wonder how seriously they should take him, DOOM refers to the album track "Costume Foolery" on which he snarls at a gaggle of superheroes looking "like a leotard fest."

"A lot of my stuff is toying around," he says. "Obviously I ain't robbed Batman and them! There's obviously a lot of fiction mixed in with it, so I'd say it's usually a fictional play on a reality situation with me.

"I think adults either get it or they don't," he says regarding the iconic mask that serves as his shield and literary sword. "I'm multi-faceted so this is my way of not being pigeon-holed into one character. I use the example of 2Pac — a prolific writer, very talented human being all around, with many facets — but I think a lot of times his work, his MC work, got kinda cornered 'cause it's 'you' and it's your face. But with the mask, I can do different sides of things."

Then, as if despairing at grown folks who don't know how to react to the imaginative malleability of the metal face, DOOM adds, "Children though, they love the mystique about the mask. They're not as stand-offish as adults who might be like, 'Oh, I see the mask, what's gonna happen next?' Children gravitate towards it, looking at you friendly at first, like a superhero. They love it."

Jaunt at Django's aside, these days Dumile claims he lives some version of the quiet life just outside the city. "Atlanta's a unique place," says the native New Yorker. "I definitely like it here, it's comfortable. I really moved out here for the simple fact of children, the environment, schools, better to raise children here."

But when it comes to DOOM the character, he talks determinedly about becoming a "gazzillionaire" — a fanciful number that's used in the title of a track on the new album. And when he says, "I go do a show, see that the fans know all the lyrics, and I'm like, Oh, so you have been listening!" it's as if that night at MJQ was just another staged mirage long since forgotten in the winds of DOOM's infectious ether.

Sitting there, with a batch of empty shot glasses scattered on the table before him, he attempts to add some sort of clarity to the shenanigans. "It's like I'm still speaking to you now as the author," DOOM says, before pointing to the mask on his face and explaining, "This is for aesthetics. So when you write this up you'll be like, 'Well, so he had the mask on. I wonder if he wears it everyday?'"

Then, a knowing pause, before he says: "For the record, I do."

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DOOM interview with The Village Voice

Not much of an interview, but still a good read...

DOOM Laughs Last

Rap's biggest enigma is back with more off-color jokes and apocalypse theories

By Phillip Mlynar

Tuesday, March 24th 2009 at 3:07pm

"What's the last good joke I heard?" There's a long pause, and then DOOM—a/k/a Daniel Dumile, a/k/a nefarious rapper MF Doom, who's graced himself with a shorter, all-caps moniker for his new record Born Like This, though he still orchestrates his comic-book antihero persona from behind a metal mask—tilts back his faceplate, sips from his pint of Black & Tan while lounging in a downtown Atlanta bar, and says, "I would say the one in the New York Post, about the monkey with the stimulus plan."

Yes, that cartoon, the one Al Sharpton is quite possibly still protesting as we speak. Another lift of the mask, another gulp, and Dumile flows on: "It was one of those edgy jokes. It was kinda a bad joke, but a good joke if you look at it as, How popular was the joke? It's the President of the United States—a figure of the utmost authority—in a high-profile publication like a newspaper, and they try to make fun of it. All presidents get made fun of. But the vein of it, the strain of it, the tying-in-to-the-monkey part of it, it's kinda funny. To me, it was like, 'Oh, they said it like that?' In that essence, that was the last good joke I heard—it was kinda in bad taste, but it's still a good nigger joke."

This isn't the first time Dumile has found himself holding court at the juncture where racially provocative imagery inches out into the mainstream. Back in 1994—then going by the moniker Zev Love X as part of the rap group KMD (think DayGlo-and-daisies-era De La Soul laced with Nation of Islam teachings)—his self-sketched "Little Sambo" figure, whom he'd intended to depict being lynched for the cover of the group's second album, Bl_ck B_st_rds, ruffled the suits at Warner Bros.–owned Elektra Records after a Billboard writer criticized the image. In spite of the illustration's intent (a "hanging of stereotypes" according to then–Elektra A&R VP Dante Ross), the argument came in the wake of Ice-T's "Cop Killer," a song that outraged both George Bush I and Warner Bros. shareholders. KMD found themselves dropped. Soon thereafter, Dumile's brother and KMD cohort, Subroc, was hit by a car and killed. Cue Zev's disappearing act, until he re-cast himself as MF Doom, announcing his return to public life at the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ© in 1998, rapping with a stocking pulled over his face ("I couldn't get a mask made in time, so I figured I could use a stocking," he recalls).

Since then, he's established himself as hip-hop's premier cult figure, clocking up Adult Swim endorsements, his own Nike Dunk sneaker, and an imminent Thom Yorke remix, all sparked by his solo debut, 1999's Operation: Doomsday. It was the most perplexingly brilliant rap record of that year: With the Neptunes' futuristic, super-sharp sound dominating the radio, DOOM seemed to be broadcasting from a freshly soiled bathroom and was content to sample the warm grooves of '80s r&b hits. His slurry verbals reveled in tricky phrasing ("With more rhymes than there's ways to skin cats/As a matter of fact, let me re-rephrase/With more rhymes than ways to fillet felines these days"), he sketched an alter ego while dropping autobiographical clues ("Remember when you went and got the dark-blue Ballys?" he reminisces to Subroc) and used vocal samples from a Doctor Doom cartoon to stitch it all together. To this day, it's his most revealing work.

Then came a five-year flurry of product: sets as the triple-headed monster King Geedorah and the time-traveling Viktor Vaughn; separate hookups with Danger Mouse and Madlib; one-offs with indie labels Rhymesayers (MM . . . Food, an album of songs with food-pun titles) and Nature Sounds (a live recording). It was Dumile in all-out money-making mode—even the most dedicated disciple might've balked at the set of 10 instrumental Special Herbs albums. But with overkill looming, things went quiet for a couple of years, and Born Like This sounds like a re-introduction. There's not much science behind the gestation period ("I was just taking my time," he says nonchalantly), but with the album title inspired by a line from Bukowski's dystopia-conjuring poem "Dinosauria, We"—the set's centerpiece, "Cellz," samples Bukowski himself reading it—this is Dumile's most openly political moment.

He cites "Absolutely," a song speculating on a strategic reaction to police-against-citizen violence, as his album highlight: "That's me asking, 'What happens if we take up arms, and we have a whole planet, and we have rules to this, and we're out to get them?' It's fiction, but it's based on what could happen based on reality. It's like Bukowski has that post-apocalyptic, worst-case scenario, walking-through-these-wastes angle—a lot of the things he said we ain't reached yet, but some of the things we've reached after the shit was written. It's like a glimpse into the future if it keeps going that way. That's this album."

His pint now heartily refreshed, Dumile delves back to his earlier musings: "There was some ill cracker jokes back in the day. Or the Polish jokes: 'How many Polacks does it take to screw in a lightbulb?' I forget the answer, but it was something retarded. That was always the funniest joke to me." From there, he swings back to Born Like This: "I got jokes on my album about niggers, I got jokes about crackers—and I think those jokes that make humor of somebody else's culture, in a way, they bring us together. At least it's some kind of dialogue. Even though the cartoon does show the monkey with two holes in his chest like they killed him—it's kinda bad, but at least they're joking. The newspaper apologized for the joke, so now they know how serious it's taken, and it starts a dialogue. It's better than somebody actually getting shot in the street, and then we got to talk about it."

And then, the big finish: "Laughter brings people together. When you can laugh at someone else, that's bringing everyone together." Dumile slugs the last of his pint, shrugs, and adds, "Anyone who's salty at that needs to get their sense of humor intact. Go meditate or something—or drink a Black & Tan."

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mos Def speaks on DOOM

I think he's listened to 'MM..FOOD' a few times. DOOM should've sent Mos out to perform shows behind the mask, no lip syncing, his DOOM voice is on point.

Throwback Bonus: Mos performing Madvillain's "Rainbows" at a sound check...

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

'BORN LIKE THIS.' having successful digital sales

DOOM's latest release 'BORN LIKE THIS.' has quickly risen to the top of the charts in the iTunes store, ranking as the top album in the "Hip-Hop/Rap" category and the 10th album overall.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Slug talks working on 'BORN LIKE THIS.' & DOOM

Slug recently sat down for an interview with Urb magazine and touched on his 'BORN LIKE THIS.' feature, as well as his views on the villain...

I got the DOOM album a while back and noticed you were on it. How was that experience? What are your thoughts on DOOM, his career from KMD to now?
He asked me to be on his record and I of course, there’s no magic story. I just said yes because I’m a fan of him and all the weirdness that he represents. DOOM hit me up and I was like “hell Yeah, give me a fucking beat!” When I got it, I thought it was wild. He actually had to coach me through it a bit, and normally, no one has to coach me through a beat. ANT does my coaching and that’s even rare. When DOOM hit me with that beat I thought it was bananas when I heard it and it made me kinda nervous. And DOOM was like “in your head think of it like this and that”. But it didn’t reallyhelp, so I just ended up writing to the drums basically [laughs]. I wish I had more time because when I re-listen to it, I thought I could have done better, but oh well. He was happy with it, so I was happy to make DOOM happy.

That’s my whole thing anyways—I don’t really give a fuck about being the best of all time. I just don’t want to disappoint people. That’s why I was such a good worker when I was blue-collar. I mean, I had dreams about stabbing my boss in the neck, but I always worked hard. It’s just something that’s in my work ethic I guess because I don’t like to be a disappointment to anybody.

So you’ve been a DOOM fan since the early days?
Look, a lot of people, especially white kids, champion the fuck out of 3rd Bass. I get it, I can see why; you finally get to see somebody that looks like you, doing the music you love, and that’s motivation. I understand that. 3rd Bass could rap better than the Beastie Boys at that time because the Beastie Boys were still doing their old-school style. 3rd Bass came out with more up-to-date styles and beats and everything. But to me, the best thing 3rd Bass ever did was introduce me to Zev Love X. No disrespect, but if I had to give 3rd Bass a VH1 hip-hop honor, it would be for introducing me to Zev Love X. Sorry Serch.

Then DOOM’s story got even thicker as his homies passed away; the record never got released, and KMD went through all the turmoil. Then in the mid-90s, he comes back with Bobbito. And I hadn’t heard anything from Zev Love for years until someone told me he put out a 12-inch as MF DOOM. So I bought it and thought “this dude is buggin’!”

His new album is a monster. What do you think of his career thus far?
I’m just a fan of him and his ideas and what he does with them. People were on his dick so fucking hard, harder than most underground rappers you’ll ever see. And I mean, there are were cats that sold more records and were more popular, but people just jocked the fuck out of DOOM. The image, the icon, the personality, the mask—people loved it all. All this time, no one even really knew what he looked like! To me, that was genius how he made people eat up an image that wasn’t even him.

I mean, I was a huge fan of the Mr. Hood record. I loved their singles because they had weird extra shit on them and the b-sides were fresh too. At the time Elektra was unstoppable—they had KMD, they had Brand Nubian, Leaders Of The New School. These groups were all fresh to me.

Click here to check out the full interview.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'BORN LIKE THIS.' review round-up

I'll be updating this post with reviews of 'BORN LIKE THIS.' written by major hip-hop sites as they appear...

(Click images to be taken to full review)





- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

'BORN LIKE THIS.' Out Now Worldwide!





iTunes includes the exclusive Thom Yorke remix of track GAZZILLION EAR

DOOM talks to Rolling Stone about BLT; admits imposters were/will be sent to shows

Reclusive Rapper Doom Talks New LP “Born Like This.” and Responds to Fan Rage

3/23/09, 5:27 pm EST

American underground rap iconoclast Doom (formerly MF Doom) releases his new album Born Like This. on Lex Records tomorrow, March 24th. The U.K.-born, New York-raised rapper’s LP features contributions from Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and the beats of late production genius J Dilla, and represents seven years of work recorded on and off at home in Atlanta. Thom Yorke recently remixed sexy single “Gazillion Ear” and funky, Jake One-produced “Ballskin” is bouncing across the major music blogs. The centerpiece of the record is “Cellz”, which explodes with apocalyptic fury. On it, the late, great American poet Charles Bukowski reads of one of his best poems, “Dinosauria, We,” for almost two minutes while missiles fire and the Earth is laid to waste.

“Don’t freak with old Buke. Buke is nice. He’s as good as the rest of the rappers on there,” Doom says. “He kind of sets the tone for the record, being that we’re living in what he was kind of describing. He might’ve been reaching for the worst description based on what he saw us heading to, but it happened and that made me go, ‘Wow, that’s ill. Kinda prophetic words.’ ”

With a career modeled on the Marvel comics arch-villain Doctor Doom, the metal mask-wearing fortysomething remains characteristically cryptic about future live dates. “I tell you one thing: when you come to a Doom show, come expecting to hear music, don’t come expecting to see. You never know who you might see. It has nothing to do with a visual thing. Use your mind and think. I might be there. Next time I do a show, I might tell everybody to close they eyes. Use your own mind’s eye. That’s better than a camera phone, know what I’m sayin’?’ ”

He says Michael Jackson — who just sold out 50 shows in the U.K. — might be doing the same thing. “Word. That nigga was crazy as hell. How do you even know he’s still him? He might’ve been doing the technique.”

The Doom live experience caused controversy in 2007, when the highly acclaimed lyricist behind Madvillainy and The Mouse and the Mask allegedly sent an impostor to perform several of his dates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furious crowds booed and took their rage to the Internet, reporting that the impostor lip-synced to MF Doom’s songs. Self-proclaimed super-villain Doom posted no response to his fan’s rage until now, when he tells Rolling Stone that he couldn’t care less.

“Everything that we do is villain style,” Doom says. “Everybody has the right to get it or not get it. Once I throw it out, it’s there for interpretation. It might’ve seemed like it didn’t go well, but how do we know that wasn’t just pre-orchestrated so that we’re talking about it now? I tell you one thing: People are asking more now for live shows and I’m charging more, so it must’ve worked somewhere.”

Such weirdness is par for the course for the erratic artist, born Daniel Dumile. In the late ’80s, Dumile signed to major label Elektra with his sibling. But his brother was killed in a car accident, Elektra dropped him, and Dumile vanished.

In the late ’90s, a metal-faced rapper spitting inimitable flow on debut underground LP Operation: Doomsday materialized named MF Doom. More than a dozen LPs and two dozen EPs later, Born Like This. is highly anticipated hip-hop eclecticism; a follow-up to 2004’s widely lauded Madvilliany with producer Madlib and 2005’s The Mouse and the Mask with platinum producer Danger Mouse. Those hits cracked the Billboard 200 — commercially and critically validating Dumile’s brutal, funny, literate, street style.

Lasering in on Armageddon on his new disc puts Doom smack in the middle of a morbid trend, with the Dow melting away, Watchmen blowing up the box office and the globe warming. But the ending of “Dinosauria, We” also posits a beautiful new beginning, begging the question: is the apocalypse actually cleansing?

“No doubt,” says the father and admitted McCain voter. “If something ends, then something’s gonna start. So it’s like, what side are you on? Do you feel like your world is ending? Or do you feel like, ‘Wow, it seems like that’s ending and it’s the start of something new.’”

Born Like This. is about the next chapter, he says and more is coming. “I got a hundred albums in me. I’m gonna rock this shit forever.”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

DOOM confirmed to perform at Soundset '09

On Sunday, May 24, 2009, Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents brings you the second annual Soundset: the official Midwest kick-off festival of the summer with over eight hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine). This is the first round of artists we are announcing, this IS NOT the final lineup.

What fun would it be to tell you everything right away?

Confirmed to perform on the Soundset main stage are: Atmosphere, MF Doom, Brother Ali, Sage Francis with B. Dolan, Immortal Technique, P.O.S, El P featuring Mr. Dibbs, Eyedea & Abilities, Abstract Rude and I Self Devine.

Soundset Tickets:

National Public On Sale TODAY:
General Admission- $30 (parking included!)
Special Soundset Festival & After Party (must be 18+) - $40 (parking included!)
VIP ticket (must be 18+)- $75 (VIP parking included!)

Grab tickets in Minneapolis, MN @ Fifth Element 2411 Hennepin Ave S | MPLS, MN 55405 | 612.377.0044

Online: ticketmaster.com!

More information here: Rhymesayers Entertainment

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

"BORN LIKE THIS." CD Digipak photos & full liner notes

01. 00:55 Supervillain Intro (Prod. By Doom) (Co-Prod. By & Feat. Mr. Chop)
02. 04:12 Gazzillion Ear (Prod. By J Dilla)
03. 01:30 Ballskin (Prod. By Jake One)
04. 02:34 Yessir! (Feat. Raekwon) (Prod. By Doom)
05. 02:43 Absolutely (Prod. By Madlib)
06. 01:28 Rap Ambush (Prod. By Jake One)
07. 01:53 Lightworks (Prod. By J Dilla)
08. 03:16 Batty Boyz (Prod. By Doom)
09. 03:06 Angelz (Feat. Tony Starks) (Prod. By Doom)
10. 04:21 Cellz (Prod. By Doom) (Co-Prod. By & Feat. Mr. Chop)
11. 02:40 Still Dope (Feat. Empress Starhh Tha Femcee) (Prod. By Doom)
12. 02:26 Microwave Mayo (Prod. By Jake One)
13. 01:39 More Rhymin’ (Prod. By Jake One)
14. 02:15 That’s That (Prod. By Doom)
15. 02:49 Supervillainz (Feat. Kurious, Mobonix & Slug) (Prod. By Doom) (Co-Prod. By & Feat. Mr. Chop)
16. 01:36 Bumpy’s Message (Feat. Bumpy Knuckles) (Prod. By Doom) (Co-Prod. By & Feat. Mr. Chop)
17. 01:15 Thank Yah (Prod. By Doom)

Additional Vocals:

01: Posdnous As P-Pain & Paloma Faith As Cat-Girl
02: Paloma Faith As Cat-Girl
09: Paloma Faith As Cat-Girl & Raekwon
15: Posdnous As P-Pain & Prince Paul As Filthy Pablo

Contains Samples From:

02: “Trouble” By Brenton Wood “(Theme From) Midnight Express” By Giorgio Moroder
04: “UFO” ESG
07: “Lightworks” By Raymond Scott
10: “Dinosoria, We” By Charles Bukowski
14: “Princess Gika” By Galt Macdermot

Instrumental Lincensed Courtesy Of:

02: Nature Sounds
07: Stones Throw Records

The Villain Would Like To Thank The All…..

Executive Producers: Daniel Dumile And Jasmine Dumile

Mixed By The 3 Kingz (Daniel Dumile, Terrence Cash, Morgan Garcia)

Mastered By Morgan Garcia

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Friday, March 20, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Extended snippet of Thom Yorke's "GAZZILLION EAR" remix

Awhile ago Pitchfork broke the news about Radiohead's Thom Yorke remixing DOOM's "GAZZILLION EAR", and that it was to be featured as an iTunes bonus track.

Tonight we bring you an exclusive (we're the first with it) extended snippet of the track, as well as some background information about it.



"Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame is a long standing fan of DOOM's work and wrote an original track to go with the lyrics of GAZZILLION EAR from the forthcoming DOOM album. DOOM then reworked and re-recorded his vocal to fit the new track."

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Your copy of 'BORN LIKE THIS.' might be in the mail

If you're one of the many who pre-ordered DOOM's upcoming 'BORN LIKE THIS.' straight from Lex Records, your copy is in the mail... or will be within the next couple days.

From Lex Records...

"DOOM - album update: Canadian, US, Japanese and Australian pre-orders from the Lex shop have shipped! Europe tomorrow, UK on Saturday."

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DOOM makes a rare live appearance

This past Sunday DOOM made a rare live appearance...

"Legendary Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai conducted a 36-piece orchestra in Los Angeles for the third installment of Mochilla & VTech's Timeless Series on Sunday, March 15. Verocai's 1972 self-titled album bridged the divide between the Tropicalia of the late '60s and the deep-groove funk of the decade to follow. This album was performed along with other material in Verocai's first Los Angeles performance.

Stones Throw's Egon MCed the event (with an unscheduled interruption from MF DOOM) and Madlib opened the night with a DJ set of his own beats made from sampling Brazillian records."

Via Stones Throw

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ghostface Killah & DOOM - "Chinatown Wars" single now available through iTunes

A few days ago we hit you with both the original & remix of the new Ghostface & DOOM collaboration track "Chinatown Wars". Both of the tracks are now officially available through the iTunes Store, along with the instrumental. (For those who still support the artists they're fans of)

- Click image below for the link to the "Chinatown Wars" single @ the iTunes Store -

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pre-order 'BORN LIKE THIS.' today!





iTunes UK

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Saturday, March 14, 2009


It's leaked, the full length 17-track 'BORN LIKE THIS.' is now circulating around the internet on your favourite file hosting sites.

I'm about to give this a listen, cannot wait!

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Track of the Day : Ghostface & DOOM - "Chinatown Wars" [Produced by Oh No]

We told y'all awhile ago about this track, and here it is!

DJ Premier played it on his show, so that's the explanation for the drops & scratching on it.


PS -- Don't worry, we'll be sure to hit you with the CDQ when it drops.

DOWNLOAD: Ghostface Killah & DOOM - "Chinatown Wars" [Produced by Oh No]

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. Here you go, CDQ original and remix.

DOWNLOAD: Ghostface Killah & DOOM - "Chinatown Wars"
DOWNLOAD: Ghostface Killah & DOOM - "Chinatown Wars (Remix)"

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More 'BORN LIKE THIS.' artwork

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

MF DOOM to be featured on Kurious' new album

MF DOOM will be making an appearance on Kurious' new album, 'II', which is set for release on March 24 through Amalgam Digital.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Radiohead's Thom Yorke to remix DOOM's new track "GAZZILLION EAR"

Yesterday we brought you the news of a new DOOM collaboration with an unknown artist. Well, today that artist is known... and is non other than Radiohead's Thom Yorke.

Yes, you read correctly, Thom Yorke has remixed DOOM's "GAZZILLION EAR", a track on his upcoming 'BORN LIKE THIS.' album which is produced by J Dilla.

The track will be a bonus for those who purchase 'BORN LIKE THIS.' through the iTunes store.

The remix sounds promising, and you can listen to a 49 second snippet here.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Monday, March 9, 2009

New DOOM collaboration track coming soon?

Taken from the Lex Records twitter...
"Gilles Peterson Worldwide got love for Doom & Willie Isz. Thanks! Amazing Doom vs ???!!! collaboration track mastered today. More info soon."
I'll keep you posted here as more comes to light on this.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

MF DOOM to be featured on J Dilla's upcoming album 'Jay Stay Paid'

This album sounds incredible, can't wait for June 2!



By now most everyone is familiar with the story of musical legend J Dilla. The quiet, prolific producer collaborated with everyone from Eryka Badu to Common to Janet Jackson to Prince. Dilla was just beginning to capitalize on his cult status when he sadly passed at age 32 due to Lupus-related complications. Jay Stay Paid is a 25 track collection of unreleased Dilla beats mixed and arranged by Pete Rock. While mostly instrumental, “J$P” also offers a few guests vocals from artists that Dilla worked with or admired including Black Thought of The Roots, MF DOOM, and M.O.P.

Curtailing any notion of jumping on some sort of Dilla bangwagon, Jay Stay Paid was executive produced by Dilla’s mother Maureen Yancey (aka Ma Dukes) along with the musical supervision of Dilla’s only real musical idol, Pete Rock. “It wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t haphazard,” explains Ms Yancey. “This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep, and some stuff pulled from old floppy disks & DATs. Its mind blowing…this is like the missing links to Dilla’s legacy.”

The format of the album plays like a radio show with Pete Rock as the program director. With regards to Pete’s involvement, Ms. Yancey gets very excited, “Dilla wanted to pattern himself behind Pete. His dream was to become as close as possible to what Pete stood for. Pete meant everything to him. Dilla would have just been flabbergasted! ” Pete’s sentiments were the same toward Dilla, “Dude was amazing. He just kinda came outta nowhere and the more you heard his beats the better they got. He may not be here with us, but it’s all good we’re going to keep his music alive and well.”

In the late 80s, Dilla founded the seminal rap group Slum Village and put Detroit hip-hop on the map, while the 90’s saw him playing a major role in the production team The Ummah with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad doing extensive work on Tribe Called Quest’s last two albums.

Jay Stay Paid will be released on June 2nd on Nature Sounds.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix


Found this on my computer, figured some may be interested in downloading it, so I went ahead and uploaded.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Saturday, March 7, 2009

J. Rocc reviews DOOM's 'BORN LIKE THIS.' (Track-by-track)

Not too in-depth, but J. Rocc posted a track-by-track "review" of 'BORN LIKE THIS.' up on his Twitter. Thought some may be interested, so here it is...

Just got DOOM's new album. Bout to give it a listen....from the man himself....thanks DOOM. (I know he'll get this...the power of twitter)

Alright. Disc of DOOM is being burned. Bout to drive to the homies crib and listen on the way...I need to hit the corner tho.

DOOM you are the man. He even sent em as Wav files. I must be his friend or something.

This DOOM album is bangin. Track by Track for those that care coming soon.....J.Rocc's (honest) record review. "No more music by the suckas"

Ok. So....there's a intro that has a cat talking bout the Villian.

Gazzilion Ear- Bangin. This is the track that I played that's on YouTube. Production-Dilla. I biased on this one tho.

Ballskin- we've all heard this one.

Yessir - Rae is killing it. Taking it back.

Absolutely - Madlib on the beat. For soon reason I think the beat is on Dil Cosby/Dil Withers. DOOM is a madman with the verse.

Rap Ambush - is this track you Jake? Another DOOM verse that's on point. J likes.

Lightworks - another exclusive awhile ago on the YouTube. Dilla beat. Different raps from the one I had. Doom is crazy folks.

Batty Boys - HO. LE . SH. IT. I need the chronicals for this one. Where does he get all this talking. I gotta replay this one.

Angelz - Tony Starks. Had this one since the SXSW ST show. This is a different mix.

Ok. They both rappin some Charlie's Angels / Three's Company stuff.

Cellz - alright. I see why the name of the album is "Born Like This". Damn. If I could only go somewhere and play this. Ok. No filler.. "Don't know what he be sayin but the words are funny"

Still Dope - Who's this girl rappin. She's kinda dope. She's can hang with the DOOM beat changes..... Ok. She's dope.

Microwave Mayo - ok...this ones is wack...........SYKE!! Maybe I just miss this type of stuff but I'am not mad at all at this album.

More Rhymin - Jake is this you again? I gotta turn this one up.

He hasn't lost it. At all. This cat is too dope.

That's That - this fool is buggin on this verse. Even a shout out to the La Brea Tar Pits.

Supervillianz- is this auto tune? DOOM definitly made this beat..

Bumpy's Message - no need to explain. Just read the title.

Thank Yah - DOOM beat again...he's not sampling gospel is he? Madlib style right here.

Gotta say. This is a good album. 17 tracks and all of em were dope. I'm not just saying that. Dilla, Madlib, Jake Uno on the beats. You can't go wrong. No half ass raps. He actually killin it on every verse. Even the guest were on point. The girls tracks tho!!!

I'm officially gonna learn the lyrics. Hahahahaha

I have to listen to the auto-tune track again

He's clowin.

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Friday, March 6, 2009

Track of the Day: DJ Rob A - "She Still Got Dimples" (with MF DOOM & Aarophat) [Produced by MF DOOM] [From 'The New Mortal Sin'/2009]

Time for that new DOOM material I promised earlier in the week. Who the hell is DJ Rob A, you ask? Well, the name wasn't too familiar, but dude has been around for a minute. He produced an MF Grimm track, "Time and Space", which was featured on Grimm's debut album 'The Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera'. (Check that album out if you haven't already, it's a personal favourite of mine. The majority of the tracks are produced by MF DOOM)

The man now has a solo album, 'The New Mortal Sin', releasing soon, and has a joint not only featuring MF DOOM, but produced by the villain as well. Tonight, I bring you an early version of this track.

DOWNLOAD: DJ Rob A - "She Still Got Dimples" (with MF DOOM & Aarophat) [Produced by MF DOOM]

For more information on DJ Rob A, or if you'd like to hear more of 'The New Mortal Sin', check out Rugged Soul Records' Official website or MySpace.

(Click photos to enlarge)

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

'BORN LIKE THIS.' leak coming soon?

Pure speculation by non other than myself, but hard copies of the album are making their way out, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the album leak within the next week or so.

From J. Rocc's twitter...

"Just got DOOM's new album. Bout to give it a listen....from the man himself....thanks DOOM. (I know he'll get this...the power of twitter)"

Alright. Disc of DOOM is being burned. Bout to drive to the homies crib and listen on the way...I need to hit the corner tho."

I'll be keeping an eye out, and the day of the leak will post an entry on here. (I will not be posting a link to the album, just letting y'all know it's out there)

New DOOM material coming in a few hours, so be sure to check back later tonight!

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stones Throw confirms new Ghost/DOOM track produced by Oh No

Last week we broke the news that a new Ghostface Killah & MF DOOM track produced by Oh No was going to be featured in the new Grand Theft Auto video game, and is currently being used in the trailer.

Record label Stones Throw confirmed in their latest newsletter that the track will soon be released:

"Oh No x Ghostface x DOOM a new track for some video game...MP3 soon."

We also provided the snippet of the track which is featured in the trailer for download last week, but I guess somebody (*cough* ST *cough*) found it necessary to take it down, so here it is again.

DOWNLOAD: Oh No x Ghostface x DOOM - "GTA: Chinatown Wars (Snippet)'

It's 30 seconds that can be heard in the trailer, no DOOM verse, no hook... is it really that serious for people to have?

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

'BORN LIKE THIS.' Vinyl Packaging update

From Lex Records...

"The DOOM album LP format is going to be the most deluxest vinyl you ever saw... Reverse board, Foil block, emboss, deboss, spot gloss! EH?"

Sounds pretty interesting, I'll definitely be picking one up.

Stay tuned for some exclusive new DOOM material within the next couple days!

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Track of the Day: MF DOOM - "Kookies" [From 'MM..FOOD'/2004]

Today's track of the day comes from MF DOOM's 'MM..FOOD'. "Kookies" was given a different beat on the 2007 re-issue of the album, some liked it... but the majority or people preferred the original. Here are both versions, along with their instrumentals, the advance version, and super-producer Just Blaze's remix of the track.


DOWNLOAD: MF DOOM - "Kookies" (Original/2004)
DOWNLOAD: MF DOOM - "Kookies" (Re-issue/2007)
DOWNLOAD: MF DOOM - "Kookies"(Advance/2004)
DOWNLOAD: MF DOOM - "Kookies" (Just Blaze Remix)

BONUS DOWNLOAD: Metal Fingers - "Horehound" (Original "Kookies" Instrumental)
BONUS DOWNLOAD: Metal Fingers - "Dandelion" (Re-issue "Kookies" Instrumental)

- Subroc, The Hip Hop Hendrix