I must admit when I heard the collaboration between producer/sometime MC Jneiro Janel and vocalist MF DOOM I must admit I was quite dissapointed; the beats wasn't doing it for me, and as with most DOOM releases, for me at least, his rhymes are so intricate and often plain nuts that it often takes several listens before I really can start digging in to them on a real conscious level. Add that the JJ DOOM project sounded very different from anything the Metal Fingered Villain had released before; the production was for the most extremely set apart from his usual set of beats, and that cat always had a fantastic ear for beats.
Had I written the intended review I was planning on right when the album dropped, I would have called it a good but at the same time slightly mediocre project from an artist that I'm so used to hear in other, as I thought, better settings. Since I'm back in yet another DOOM period, I have been revisting "Key to the Kuffs" and I must admit that I have completely changed my mind. This LP is nothing short of blazing heat from track 1 to track 15; it's different, yes indeed, but DOOM has never stayed in a box and that's one of the things that make him one of the greatest. Matter of fact, the album fits in right together with his other rhyming-over-one-producer's work albums like the classic "The Mouse & The Mask" and the original "Madvillainy". It doesn't quite reach those levels, but there's a fantastic chemistry between the two main musicians and the elctronic-tinged beats are both extremely raw and progressive relying heavily on slamming drums, futuristic and dark electronic soundscapes that fits DOOM's insane flows, lyrics and delivery, which is some of his finest performances in years, believe it or not!
The project "Key to the Kuffs" begun after DOOM, who was born in London used his European passport when travelling outside of the US and found himself refused to get back into his come country of the US after his trip back. This led to him staying in the capital EU city, and eventually hooking up with Jneiro Jarel - also known as Dr. Who Dat?. After DOOM invited JJ to remix two different versions of the title track from his "Gazzilion Ears EP" (late 2009), the Dilla produced standout from the emcees' third solo offering under own name, 2009:s often underrated "Born Like This". Despite featuring interesting new takes from Radiohead's Thom Yorke and an exclusive DOOM cut entitled "The Green Whore Net", there were no question who's two remixes were head and shoulders above the rest. The Dr. Who Dat? remix is almost disturbingly dark, with low-key cuts, a bassline that your neighbors might want to kill you for, and a full-out electrconic approach while still keeping it 100% hip-hop; there are samples here but they are filtered, and hidden in plain sight if you will. Who Dat makes DOOM's borrowed accapella to this madness and make ti sound like this was actrually the beat that he recorded "Gazzillion..." for in the studio. Powserful shit!
The Jneiro Jarel take, co-remixed with Dave Sitek, brings a totally different flavor to the same vocal material. Rather than a full-out hardcore electronic approach, this is filled with samples and musical that's brilliantly put to use; head-nod inducing rhythm, horns, keys, and more; definitely nothing to sleep on! But what's more interesting is how this is such a great predecessor of what was about to come when the duo was fully formed and they unleased their "Keys to the Kuffs" last year; an album that might just be DOOM's best lyrical career point ar this point. For fans of DOOM, Jneiro Jarel, Dave Sitek and "Keys...", these songs are an absolute treat, and I know they got a few years on their neck but considering what's happening right now with the recent album release, I think it's a perfect time to write an artifcle on the phenomen that is DOOM and his new producer Dr. Who Dat?. Will be interesting to see if this is just a one album shot, or if we might get a sequel some day. If you have yet to pick up the album, do yourself a favor and head over to UGHH and chose the format of your choice - vinyl or CD. Trust me, give it a few spins, and if you still donn't feel is one of the
[Single Comp] MF DOOM - "The Origin'"
01. "Gazzillion Ear" [Dr. Who Dat? Remix] *
02. "Gazzillion Ear" [Jneiro Jarel Remix] *