MF DOOM - Operation Doomsday
By 1999, the excellence of the newly released Operation Doomsday album was not a surprise, to those already familiar with New-York's underground rap scene. By then, MF Doom had already released several great singles on Fondle'em, Bobbito's iconic indie rap label. And all of them were compiled on this opus, recorded by a man who was not exactly a newcomer. The guy, indeed, was Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. Zev Love X, an ex-rapper from the band K.M.D., who had reoriented his career after the death of his colleague and brother Subroc. Moving forward, he would start hiding his face behind a mask, and become rap's underground super-hero.
Fondle'em :: 1999 :: buy this record
Operation Doomsday was a compilation, more than an album, and it was made of raw materials. But it was solid and coherent; most tracks, indeed, shared some key features. Their beats were disturbing, and full of bizarre things, like the strange violins on "Tick, Tick" – a Beatles sample, actually – and the threatening brass instruments on "Hey". The record was also full of false endings. Some tracks would end with a short pause, before starting again for a few seconds, in a purely instrumental version. It had a few freestyles, like on "The Hands of Doom", and its skits sampled heavily cartoons like Scooby-Doo, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four, whose worst enemy was no other than the cover art's Dr. Doom.
According to Dumile, his purpose with Operations Doomsday was to challenge the listeners, to shock them. He wanted to ban any easy effect, any predefined recipe. And yes, indeed, no doubt that this is what he wanted. His album, nonetheless, was enjoyable. Except for a few difficult tracks like "Tick, Tick", it was catchy.
Later on, MF Doom would enrich his formula. He would become one of the most revered hip-hop artists in the 2000's, and a godfather for indie rap scene. He would also deliver some other great records, most critics would love. All of them, though, inclusive of the great Vaudeville Villain, would only be replicas of the seminal Operation Doomsday. His first solo album would stay his unreplaceable classic. It would be even more than that: the archetypical rap underground classic.
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