It seems only natural that a producer that adopted his moniker from a superhero cartoon would link up with an emcee that took the guise of a marvel comic book character. Enter Dangerdoom, the brainchild of DJ Danger Mouse and MF Doom, which in the tradition of last year’s Madvillainy, pits the emcee vs. producer for another top-notch project. Add Cartoon Network’s line of Adult Swim characters into the mix, and you’ve got one of the most interesting albums of the year.
Fresh off producing one of the biggest pop/rock albums (if we dare call Gorillaz that) of the year, DJ Danger Mouse switches gears to instead produce perhaps the biggest underground album of the year with Dangerdoom. The sound is different that what was found on Gorillaz, but still trademark DM, as the Mouse hooks up hard hitting, dusty dirty beats for The Mask to spit over. Two of the best examples of this are on the album’s highest profile collaborations, “The Mask” (feat. Ghostface) and “Old School” (feat. Talib Kweli). “The Mask” finds Doom and Ghost celebrating their like-minded love for iron armor, over raucous horns and snapping drums. “Old School” on the other hand joins former touring buddies Doom and Talib with classic production that finds the two competing for the spotlight, reminiscing on Saturday mornings of cartoons and cereal. Cee-Lo also guest appears, on the more polished “Bizzy Box”, giving a hint of what to expect from Danger and Green’s upcoming Gnarls Barkley project.
The collaborations are appreciated, but Doom is in his element when ripping tracks solo. “Sofa King” is perhaps the quintessential Dangerdoom track, as Doom spits his usual, humorous narratives over Danger’s melodic violin arrangements, and the Aqua Teen Hunger Force pummels the “sofa king” joke into the ground. Again on “Crosshairs”, classical violins get freaked for similar results. “Mince Meat” is another excellent selection, as Doom’s monotone delivery compliments Danger’s tribal drums and Asian flute mix.
As the album progresses, it gets wackier and wackier. Case in point is “Vats Of Urine”, where Doom proclaims “everybody’s talking about pistols, gats is boring / came with a new topic to flip: vats of urine”, before entering a minute and a half diatribe on the creative uses for large containers of piss. “Space Ho’s” follows, which finds Doom trying to takeover Space Ghost: Coast To Coast, ranting about why he is more qualified for the job. Needless to say, this doesn’t make Space Ghost happy.
Sewn together with skits featuring various members of the Adult Swim cast (all on a “how can I be down” quest), Danger Doom is another satisfying fix from MF Doom, which further cements DJ Danger Mouse as one of hip-hop’s top producers. The fourteen tracks lend about forty minutes of music, leaving the listener drooling for more as the last track ends. Luckily both Danger and Doom are two of the hardest working men in hip-hop, with plenty of more offshoot projects in the works for ’06. Now how about that sequel?
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