MF Doom

There's a lot of work cut out for anyone just copping to MF Doom after catching him bend space and time on that damn-near-relevant new De La Soul album. Between pseudonymous releases (Viktor Vaughan, King Geedorah) and his collabs (Mad Lib, MF Grimm), Doom has dropped four records in 2004 alone. Whenever digging anything from the underground, it's best to feel for the edges and lift, and MM..Food? is as fine a place to jab your crowbar as any. Doom's a master of collage, and here we have a swirl of turntable rhythms, bling-free rhyming, and samples that make you ask "What the hell's that?" one minute and "How'd he clear that?" the next. Supervillain horns propel half the tracks. Voices cribbed from the old Fantastic Four cartoon manage somehow to seem as menacing as they are cheesy. The funky shit Doom nabs from the Electric Company glows with more schoolyard warmth than the Jurassic Five's entire career. Underground hip-hop tends toward the joyless, but anyone who thinks it can't be fun doesn't know Doom. Neither does anyone who thinks that fun -- or collage -- can't be art.


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