Friday, October 15, 2010

DOOM! - The greatest rapper with no chain you never heard

For my little brothers Birthday (Mr. Man of the Illersapiens) My Moms bought him two tickets to see MF Doom at the Brixton Academy on October 14th 2010. Seeing as I had introduced littleman to my hero of all hero rappers many years back, and we had shared many conversations on the intricacies of Mr. Dooms flow, and Mr. Man has been hugely influenced in his own rhymes by Doom, he graciously decided that the best recipient for that spare ticket was Mr. Hare. Thanks Moms!!

I would like to say I bought Dooms first album "Doomsday" when it came out, but at that time around 1999 after years of being a die hard first generation Rap head, I was deeply disillusioned by what Puff Daddy and even Jay-Z were doing to Hip Hop. I caught Public Enemy when they played. I caught Native Tongues when A Tribe Called Quest only had "Lost my Wallet in El Segundo" released so far, and I was a huge fan of a little outfit called KMD who released an underground classic album called "Mr. Hood" (Peachfuzz). In that group was a kid with a sublime flow named Zev LOve X who's rhymes for many years rattled around my head.
(Pigment! Is this a defect of birth or more an example of the richness of Earth?).

I bought that album on Import!!

My Hip Hop Sabbatical was fruitful because I got into all the other music I had ignored during my backpack years. Fishbone, Peaches, Cutty Ranks, Larry Levan, Sublime, Nirvana and the huge influence of Trevor Jackson all spring to mind. I didn't completely abandon Hip Hop at any point. Wu Tang forever and Mos Def have never left my side.

But Anyway... in 2003 I bought a vinyl double LP (remember those) called "Vaudeville Villain" by a cat named Viktor Vaughn and a few months later in 2004 I bought a CD called Madvillain. Both pieces of work were completely new and weird and elaborate like Hip Hop was in 92!! To this day both remain the most played on my I-tunes. It turns out that Madvillain, Viktor Vaughn, another cat I soon discovered called King Geedorah are all persona's of one man called MFDoom. Doom is a poet of extraordinary calibre. MF Doom is also the grown up persona of one Zev Love X from KMD. My long lost friend. wiki-wiki!!

So back to Brixton. 5000+ people predominately white, predominately male, as to be expected. But I am pleased to note that 25% of the crowd are either female and there of their own volition or a plethora of independent ethnics like myself. If the world ended outside the Academy tonight, the gene pool on which future civilisation depended had a chance.

I knew I was taking a risk seeing Doom live because I have spent more time in the presence of this mans work than any other artist alive or dead. The rap-scapes are phenomenal. The vocabulary is expansive and the rhymes are mathematical. Algebraic even. What possible bonus to hear them in the flesh?

You know Doom's stage show is not going to consist of more than the mic and the mask. Maybe some visuals if you are lucky. To all three ends he did not disappoint. The real bonus was in the 5000+ other people who could mouth all the words to some of the most intricate slang you will ever hear. We all just wanted to be there to see it once. (Vaughn! The Flying Vaudeville villain. Who Ain't give a flying fuck who ain't not feelin' him!) I saw the show. I got the "Villain" T-shirt. I was there.

Anyway...the point is...most have never heard of him and probably never will. His fame is not crucial to the measure of his success. His work, for the people who pursue it, can't be bettered. We don't know what he looks like and we don't know where he lives. All we have is his work to stand or fall on it's own merits.

I wish all things were conceived in this way.


Wale said...

Metal Face meets Men's Wear.

Agreed. The villain is always entertaining. To call him a 'character' is an understatement.

I actually had the pleasure of recording a couple of songs with him back when I was on the scene (check out Wale Oyejide featuring MF Doom "This Is Dedicated To...").

Didn't realize you were related to Mr. Man. His verse on Reflection Eternal's "Fortified Live" is forever emblazoned in my mind.

I blog about men's wear on:
Would love to chat with you about shoes and hip hop of years past sometime.

Wale O.

Michael K said...

Great write up (and great gig too).

I would have loved Mr. Dumile to have given us a sneak preview of a new track from the new-new Madvillain album (much like the Accordion bit on "Live from Planet X" when you can almost detect a collective internal "Huh?!" from the crowd).

I found the rhinestone in the middle of his mask to be almost hypnotic!

Mr. Hare said...

I knew I wasn't just a lone fanatic!

Firstly, Wale, That Mr. Man is not my brother. Although I do have that on 12 and I am still hugely proud of my brother who is a different Mr. Man. (follow the link). But...Holy Shit Wale!! "i did a track with Doom once." Mr. Hare is not worthy. Just checked it out too. You had a little moment there. What happened? Do you still have Dooms number?

Michael K. You are a dark horse too. I didn't notice your stealth figure cutting through the crowd. Were you wearing a mask?

If you liked the jewel on Dooms mask, wait until you cop a load of my new shoehorn. You heard it here first.

The House of Ra'oof said...

wow , sometime brits have more fun ! I'm from philly [usa] an have not seen doom is too cool that you are a fan, also that wale is a fan of mr. hare [ oye, I had that trak with you & mf ] check me out. preview my site of reconstructed vintage wears. peace

Wale said...

forgot to get back to this, sorry.

Yeah I had a quick 15 minutes. I still love the music, but honestly I was starting to get a little bored with what I was doing. I decided to take a break until I was starving for it again.

Not to mention, I wanted to be able to afford fly kicks, and the starving artist life wasn't quite feeding ye olde shoe closet.

i traded in the music addiction for style. but i'm sure one day, the beats will come calling.

I DO still have a number for The Villain. But it's "a number." He was always one of those "don't call me, I'll call you" characters. haha.

What's up with getting ahold of some Mr.Hare shoes Stateside?