I feel like I need to preface this review by stating that I never bought into the cult of Doom. While I enjoyed Madvillain and some other tracks he did here and there, I never got the devotion of his fans who are so quick to declare his genius. That said, most of the time when I listen to an entire album of Doom, I can’t help but notice all of his shortcomings. While Doom spends a lot of time concocting intricate rhymes with a stream of conscious flow, after a while it gets in the way of him actual saying anything in his songs. He also has several fall back subject matters that are kind of weak, such as snot bubbles and fecal matter. Step your game up, man. Production-wise, Doom can develop some good songs, but also falls in love with spoken samples that invoke old cop and superhero shows that become overdone once you get through a few songs.
On this album, all of these problems are apparent. It opens with an intro that in theory should set mood and get you excited for the album, but really just makes me shrug my shoulders and think, “When does the music start?” For the first couple of songs, I enjoy the album and it works towards Doom’s strengths, coming up with some laid back grooves that allow him to lay his wordy-yet-relaxed flow over. By the time we get to “Lightworks,” I’m already running out of steam in my enjoyment, and then we get a song that uses J Dilla’s “Lightworks” off of Donuts, one of the great instrumental hip hop albums of all times. I feel this is just lazy and weak on Doom’s part. If this was a mixtape, I’d expect to hear something like that, but on an album of original material, I expect the artists to be more original. Then we come to “Batty Boyz,” hands-down the worst track on the album, along with being the most offensive. This homophobic song about the relationship between Batman and Robin is first of all unoriginal (Come on man, you think you’re the first person to make this observation? Get real), and second of all is just full of offensive, ignorant, and tired language that I would expect a supposedly intelligent emcee to not use. Doom then follows that song up with “Angelz,” with Ghostface who rhymes in an offensive caricature of an Asian man that makes me wary to even reach the end of the album. “Still Dope” offers a bright spot on the album, thanks to verses laid down by Empress Stahhr Tha Femcee, who I now wish I knew more about. “Supervillainz” feels like its supposed to be an ironic club song, complete with auto-tune, but that doesn’t mean its successful or enjoyable to listen to. After that, it just ends on a whimper with one awkward phone message track and then an outro.
I just want to end this review with a call to action for all Doom fans, and that is to hold him to a higher standard. Are his lyrics actually that good? Is his production that tight? Does the superhero stuff always work, or just sometimes? Come on, people.
|Title:||DOOM - Born Like This|