on 30 October 2005
Operation: Doomsday has to be one of the best, if not the best indie Hip Hop album ever. Before i first heard it a year and a half ago, my attention span for Hip Hop in general was starting to waver. After 10 years of dedication to the music, the production line of 1 dimensional MCs and lackluster production values in the mainstream had stretched my patience to breaking point. However the underground scene does have plenty of talent.
That's the best way i can describe my reaction to hearing Doomsday for the first time. The opening Skit "Time we Faced DOOM" with it's sample vocals from the movie Wild Style & the Fantasic 4 cartoon series sets the listener up for what will be a rather different listening experience.
"Doomsday" is a great first track, showing DOOM as a master of sampling, by borrowing drums used by BDP back in the day and a familiar Sade track, enlisting R&B Singer Pebbles to sing the hook.
"Rhymes Like Dimes" is a great, almost whimsical track, featuring more than a few quotables such as "Only in America could you find a way to make a healthy buck, and still keep your attitude on self-destruct" Genius.
"The Finest" features rapper Tommy Gunn and has a rhythm which is hard to decribe. Another really good addition which keeps the albums momentum going.
"Back in the Days" is a skit, again using a Fantasic 4 sample. This time featuring Mr Fantasic when he was at school with fellow student: Victor Von Doom.
"Go With The Flow" again showcases DOOM's cavalier approach to sampling, borrowing from ex Juice Crew rapper, Kool G Rap. DOOM even goes as far to admit "With no hands, I chop these drums off, truly yours, G Rap" Nicely done Mr Dumile.
"Tick Tick" is a very experimental track, one which takes a couple of listens to really get the vibe. MF Grimm is featured on his own here, his flow speeding up and slowing down in time with the music (which is a sample from the end of "Glass Onion" by The Beatles).
"Red and Gold" introduces us to one of DOOM's many alter egos, King Ghidra (which he would later change to King Geedorah, and release the album "Take me to Your Leader" with members of his crew: Monster Island Czars). It's a top track, with a very oriental feel.
"The Hands of DOOM" is another Skit. Victor Von Doom is going ahead with an experiment which backfires, before changing to more Wild Syle audio with the main character Zorro describing his artwork to his girlfriend, which incorporates his representation of The Hands of Doom.
"Who You Think I Am?" is a group track featuring King Ceasar, Rodan, Megalon, Kamakiras and Kong from M.I.C. It brings back memories of the Wu-Tang when they were grimey and raw. It's a testament to the group's potential that it comes off just as nicely as the Wu.
"DOOM, Are You Awake?" is a Skit which follows on from "The Hands of DOOM" with Victor Von Doom waking up in hospital with facial injuries, sustained after the failed experiment. His bandages are removed revealing a horribly twisted face and goes into hiding.
"Hey" is a haunting track. It has to be the only track that can use Scooby Doo samples (including Scooby's vocals) and create a credible Hip Hop Track. Masterful!!!
"Operation: Greenbacks" has a sublime string/drum combo and again features Megalon next to DOOM as King Ghidra.
"The MIC" Contruary to what you may initially think, this is not a Monster Island Czars collabo, but DOOM doing his thing over a melodic rhythm with crashing drums. Pebbles makes an appearance again here.
"Mystery of DOOM" Skit time again, with Susan Richards of the Fantastic 4 asking what became of Victor Von Doom. Little does she know that Victor, now Dr Doom, is about to appear, ready to clear up "the mystery of Doom's transition".
"Dead Bent" is one of the best tracks on the album, which I believe samples an isaac hayes song. A+ Production, A+ Lyrics.
"Gas Drawls" comes in after "Dead Bent" with DOOM half rapping, half talking over a sluggish beat. - The super villain, cooler than a million - Sums it up perfectly.
"?" Another of the best beats on the album, featuring Kurious of the Constipated Monkey crew. It opens with Dr Doom describing how his servants have created a Metal Suit, complete with Mask to conform to his twisted features - "and it fits" proclaims Doom.
"I Hear Voices" is the bonus track on Operation: Doomsday. DOOM switches up his flow to suit a track seemingly ripped directly from a Saturday morning cartoon show. It doesn't immediately grab you as a good track but it really grows on you. Doom declaires his plan to turn the Fantastic 4 into statues with liquid titanium steel and destroy every major city in the world, unless the politicians vote to recognise him as world ruler. They refuse to be ruled by a tyrant. "Very well, you shall suffer the consequences" states Doom. "5..4..3..2.." Then something crashes through the door of the lair. "GRIMM" Doom shouts. The CD stops there, alluding to the fact that Ben Grimm has gotten to him just in time to save the world from Doomsday.
I cannot recommend this album highly enough. From it's cartoon strip like cover, the excellent lo-fi production values to the quality of the rhymes (DOOM's flow on this album sounds like what would happen if Ghostface & Raekwon somehow had a baby & ODB spat in it's mouth for good measure).
If you enjoyed this album your next port of call should be Viktor Vaughn's "Vaudeville Villain" and then Madvillain's "Madvillainy" both of which are aliases of DOOM, and are excellent albums.