DOOM and Del Get Weird
For the last few years, two of rap’s most talented oddballs have mostly laid in the cut. DOOM put out JJ DOOM last year, which had a lot of meh moments. In Del’s camp, Deltron announced back in July that their long-delayed sophomore album, Event II, will drop in the fall. Now, the two eccentric emcees have joined forces. Kind of.
This was shaping up to be the next rap nerd rapture.
The collaboration, called “Viberian Son,” is part of Key To The Kuffs (Butter Edition), a deluxe version of the JJ DOOM album complete with new sequencing, remixes and three unreleased tracks. Usually, reissues and deluxe editions are snoozefests, but this bucks the trend. The new joints are a step up from the original album, elevating Jneiro Jarel’s position on the totem pole of DOOM collaborators. Despite the potential, there’s something a bit off—the songs never quite get to the next level.
“Viberian” is the highlight of the bunch, but it still lacks a punch. It’s more interesting on paper than it is in the lab. Del does his thing over a lush loop, previously used as an instrumental interlude on Kuffs. There’s some stony gibberish from DOOM in the intro, talking about divine beings and baby goats, and then Del goes to work. I just wish DOOM spit a verse to back up his rambling mumbo jumbo.
Even though DOOM doesn’t spit any bars, Del tries to make up for it. The loose, airy beat gives him room to get razor sharp: “Well sought after, rise like astronauts/Tell negroes they ain’t half as hot/Tell those Beatles the negroes is where they took half the plot.”
On “The Signs,” DOOM is AWOL again, but the track still works. I had never heard of Gone the Hero, but the Gumby flow on display here is impressive. Plus, Jneiro kills the beat, cooking up a slinky, jazzy track that wouldn’t be out of place in a noir film.
When DOOM does show up on the mic on “Pause Tape”, he’s a different MC. He’s back to his playful persona, which wasn’t always on display on Key to the Kuffs the first time around. He sounds like he’s getting comfortable in London, starting verses with his signature steeze of weirdo glee: “Mother father, it’s my god given honor/to eat an MC like a hot sizzlin’ diner.”
DOOM and Del didn’t trade verses like the Furious Five, but these new tracks from the Super Villain don’t disappoint.
And then there’s this Beck remix of “Banished.” Hipster tested, YT approved.