Top 10 MF DOOM Albums – A Loud News Net Tribute
With the tragic announcement of MF DOOM’s passing, it was only fitting that we look back at his iconic albums, the records that he will forever be remembered for. A figure shrouded in mystery but defined by his talent, Daniel Dumile left a void in the game when he left. There won’t be another like him, but his mark on music will be here forever in the DNA of hip hop as we know it. Let’s dive right in, to the world of America’s Most Blunted.
#10: Venomous Villain (2004)
MF DOOM has such a wide ranging catalog that you can truly find his soul scattered throughout it. In some spots throughout this 2004 release you hear what might be his soul spread a little too thin. Offloading plenty of verses to other vocalists on the album, the process that these tracks went through to be compiled and dropped may have taken a toll. While feeling a little less cohesive as compared to other projects under his belt, when it works it works well. Funky, loose beats lay a soundscape for the cast of the album, and it’s a listen worthy of your time!
#9: Keys to the Kuffs (2012)
While it may not top many lists, this collaborative joint with Jneiro Jarel is yet another example of the consistency of our favorite masked rapper. Crafting an enjoyable listen while still riding the line of experimental or messy doesn’t sound easy, and the layers of vocals and instrumentals that went into these tracks are sure to keep most DOOM listeners locked in.
#8: Czarface Meets Metalface (2018)
While his list of solo albums may not be incredibly long, his actual output over the years has been solid. Stretching his legs next to Czarface (the underground group consisting of Boston mainstays, 7L and Esoteric, alongside Wu Tang’s Inspectah Deck), 2018 brought this quality collaboration onto everyone’s radar. It may not sound exactly like a MF DOOM record, but his influence is apparent throughout. Having combined their strengths, this album showcases few weaknesses. While not quite iconic in it’s own right, this treat of a project was an incredible surprise from a group of artists reaching their creative apex.
#7: The Mouse and The Mask (2005)
When Dangerous Mouse and MF DOOM combined forces, the result was about what you would expect. Zany raps, numerous Adult Swim interludes, and catchy production. Plenty of other members join the cast of this show-turned-album like Talib Kweli, Ghostface, and even Cee-Lo himself. This installment in the discography may not land itself in anyone’s top 3, but for what it is, this album deserves a shout for the color and variety that it brought to DOOM’s discography. Unconventional but well-engineered, you won’t find boring moments anywhere during the 46 minute run time.
#6: Born Like This (2009)
No project is perfect. While hardcore fans may recognize re-used instrumentals in parts, or may find themselves slightly turned off by questionable lyrics (looking at you, “Batty Boyz”), this album was once again a solid release by the masked artist. Coming in years and years after some of his more timeless works, DOOM came to remind the game and everyone in it that his talent and cunning wordplay was here to stay.
Check out That’s That for a true classic MF DOOM
#5: Take Me To Your Leader (2003)
While MF DOOM may be put on a pedestal for his lyrical mastery, there’s no doubt that his production skills are notable as well- and that’s an understatement. Putting on his next costume for his career, the rapper emerges as King Geedorah. Utilizing his experience behind the board, he lays down buttery and twisting chopped up samples for the length of the album. Although not every moment is perfect throughout the run time, it benefits from the various features that come forward to deliver on his beats. Take Me To Your Leader is a necessary listen for someone wanting to see a DOOM project from another perspective.
#4: Vaudeville Villain (2003)
Beginning with the signature oldies audio clip intro, we are once again sucked into the story of a villain out to prove himself- and destroy anyone who dares get in his way. Featuring some of the rapper’s hardest verses, the instrumentals are frantic and engaging at the same time. Appearing under his moniker Viktor Vaughn to deliver this particular project, we are introduced to a character who is less concerned with the listener, and more focused on what he has to say. Offering up a more dangerous side of the artist, this trip of an album deserves a solid listen. There’s plenty to unpack, but if you sit down and shut up, Viktor Vaughn will lay it all out for you in his own time.
#3: MM.. FOOD? (2004)
If you put this album at #3, you are guaranteed to catch a few tomatoes on your way off the stage. The problem here is that nearly all of DOOM’s top albums truly check all the boxes. Once again, we find ourselves in the world of crisp yet dusty beats. Spitting mercilessly across the board is the figure of the masked villain once again. While possibly sacrificing some of the more “out there” instrumentals for more crafted and tight tracks, he refuses to hold back his tongue. Mixing in surgical-level rhyming schemes with rambling, compounding bars, the rapper rightly established his place on the scene with this follow-up to Madvillainy.
#2: Operation Doomsday (1999)
The end of the century would usher in more than just Y2K panic. Appearing from the depths of the underground, shedding his previous personas, MF DOOM would unveil a masterclass in skill and wit. Sitting with this album is akin to watching someone you just met in the grocery store paint a canvas in the parking lot on a whim. Lending an ear to the project rewards you with a slap of brash confidence mixed with the telltale signs of an artist on the verge of growing into their sound. This is an essential album for a GOAT-ed rapper, released early on in his career. You want to say that the man showed all his cards from the start, but his career following would only prove that wrong time and time again.
#1: Madvillainy (2004)
In what is a near unanimous opinion throughout rap forums across the internet, Madvillainy takes the cake again (sorry, MM.. FOOD). This album finds Daniel Dumile at perhaps his most in-character performance yet. Despite this, his personality shines through in the classic flows and intricate rhymes that glide across the Madlib-produced instrumentals. Madvillainy (the self-named duo) is a stellar example of what happens when two artists lock step with their eyes on the prize. Effortless but complex, putting on the headphones with this project queued is asking to be transported to a world of harsh realities and comically blunt bars. Concept and themed albums (about supervillains, no less) often stumble in their execution, but MF DOOM and Madlib showcased exactly how you do it, and that’s as timeless as the legacy he leaves behind.