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by D.T. Swinga
22 December, 2004@12:00 am
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 The last two years have been crucial to the career of MF Doom, who transformed himself from forgotten KMD leftover into perhaps the most popular underground emcee of the moment. In 2004 alone, he released the certified classic “Madvillain” collaborative LP with producer Madlib, as well as Viktor Vaughn 2, the official follow-up to last year’s Sound Ink favorite, not to mention a few different instrumental side projects, making this one busy year for the metal-faced villain. But what heads have been really patiently waiting for is MM Food, the sophomore solo release from MF Doom, and official follow-up to Operation Doomsday. So what makes MM Food different from the other two Doom albums of 2004? Simply put, this is the only MF Doom release produced entirely by Doom himself (except where noted).  But just how tasty is Doom’s year-end platter, does it really satisfy our hunger?

     MM Food begins with “Beef Rap”, a quintessential Dumile track, complete with superhero cartoon music, meshed with sound effects and beat dropouts for the dopest lines. But what really kicks the album off is the lead single “Hoecakes”, with the simplicity of beat-box drums, a fresh piano loop, and the word “super” cut in every 8 bars or so, which Doom incorporates his into his poetry with ease. He also scores points on the b-side track “Potholders”, which features Doom in a fun freestyle session with able lyricist and producer of the track, Count Bass D.  The little-heard “One Beer” leftover from Madvillain follows, making it one of the best tracks on the album, despite being previously released. 

     But after “One Beer” is swallowed, the flaws in MM Food begin to appear. “Deep Fried Frenz”, Doom’s Whodini throwback, begins to sound oddly familiar, as does “Kon Karne”, which comes later in the album. This is mainly because the original instrumentals were included on Doom’s “Special Herbs” series over a year ago, and have popped up on different projects from Nastradoomus to Special Blends Remixes to MF Grimm’s Special Herbs and Spices release. Sure, this is the first time we get to hear Doom rhyme on these beats, however it’s a little too late. Furthermore, the same fate strikes “Guinesses”, however this time doesn’t even feature rhymes from Doom, only Angelika and 4Size (who?!?). Top it all off with “The Special Recipes” section of the album, encompassing tracks 6,7,8, and 9 into a six minute sketch of random vocal samples over more old Doom beats. Nevertheless, Doom’s vocal sample selections are fitting as they are hilarious, such as the priceless “edible wrappers” section on “Fillet-O-Rapper”.

     Still, while much of the middle of MM Food is rehashed from other projects, Doom saves face towards the end of the album with the last few tracks. The Molemen produced “Kon Queso” helps get things back on track, as does the duet with Mr. Fantastik “Rapp Snitch Knishes”, both which bang with low fidelity. The same can be said for “Vomitspit” and “Kookies”, which both close the album out nicely. 

     While MM Food may have its flaws, Doom still rips the mic mo’ better than many emcees out today – above ground or under. And in Doom’s defense, while the “Special Herbs” instrumental series helped somewhat spoil Food, the average listener that doesn’t keep up with every single Doom release will enjoy this meal heartily. Now what’s for dessert?

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