JJ Doom: Unlocking The Kuffs

MF DOOM—hip-hop's most infamous masked supervillain—re-emerges with Jneiro Jarel for a new album.

DOOM has always been somewhat of an acquired taste, but over the years his garbled flow and polysyllabic free association rhymes have grown increasingly impenetrable due to the emcee's deteriorating vocal chords, and there are times on Keys to the Kuffs, a recent collaboration with hip-hop producer Jneiro Jarel, that DOOM sounds weathered, wise and maybe a little bit mad. On the dizzying "Guv'nor," the British emcee links the devaluation of the dollar to neo-colonialism, gives investment advice (he seems to prefer commodities over gold) and compares his rhymes to "molten glass" from "Eyjafjallajökull," which, as DOOM helpfully points out, is the "volcano out of Iceland." He ends the track with a screed against synthetic weed, requesting that his dealer "untie her hair from the chair while I'm there." It's a startling and grim image—and perhaps not the most effective plea for quality buds—but it's also the perfect example of DOOM's perversity and humor. – Sam Chennault. Google Play

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