“Born Like This” MF Doom album review by Peter Cho

DOOM - Born Like This

Hip hop’s biggest villain, Daniel Dumile (more famously known as MF DOOM) is set to wreak havoc on hip hop with a new solo album after a lengthy five year hiatus. Although Dumile has been actively collaborating with artists like Madlib and Danger Mouse, “Born Like This” will herald the return of Dumile’s alter-ego MF DOOM, who is now known simply as DOOM.

DOOM’s persona borrows heavily from his comic book inspiration, Doctor Doom, who is a fictional character from the Fantastic Four comic book franchise. Originally known as Zev Love X in the early 90’s, DOOM took a number of years off after the loss of his brother, only to return with a new identity and a penchant for wearing masks while performing.

The promo sampler for “Born Like This” features five tracks, and is definitely in line with DOOM’s original rap stylings. The album is heavy with samples from vintage television shows, giving it a retro-esque feel similar to his last solo album as MF DOOM, “MM..Food.”

The tracks are shorter than typical hip hop tracks with some running as short as a minute and 30 seconds. Tracks focus more on concise rapping rather than choruses or other elements that would normally affect radio-playability.

The production style is a far cry from contemporary hip hop, and is a throwback to the days of 90’s hip hop. Most of the tracks feature a story-line, with narratives dominating the songs rather than hooks or smack-talking.

Although I’m glad DOOM is coming out with a new album, I can’t help but wish that it was another album produced by Danger Mouse. I love his work as MF DOOM and Viktor Vaughn, but “The Mouse and the Mask” is one of my favorite hip hop albums of all time.

DOOM’s skills as a producer are reflected in his “Special Herbs” series, but I would love for DOOM and Danger Mouse to make an album that doesn’t entirely promote Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Look for “Born Like This” at your favorite record store or iTunes on March 24.