Album Review

JJ Doom – “Key to The Kuffs” – [Lex Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/6/2012   CD, Hip Hop

Hitting heavy on the stream of consciousness levee. MF DOOM’s flow
surges like a river ready to burst, Jneiro Jarel drops flotsam
and jetsamples into the mix, keeping it thick. Hell, the first
track is actually called “Waterlogged” and it will work just fine
for Negativland fans, it helps to set the cartoon world where
Doom lives. With a voice as strong as his mask, and a mind
as steely, Daniel Dumile goes miles beyond the simple 8 and
a cliche fate. It’s 20 years plus since KMD, and Doom is
not weighed down by history, or homeland insecurity. Is he
really locked out of the USA, could be a stunt or something
less blunt, but he’s got the keys to the kuffs and an imagination
that most rappers can’t dream of. Hooking up with Jarel has
brought out some tweaky beats, no fear of the experimental
elementals. Janel also does some reverse editing, zapping
some of the coherence out of spoken samples. This is an
album that get you thinking and laughing, especially with Doon’s
cockney rhyming slang gangster. Even if he’s no G, he sure
as hell is O. Guest rappers step into the mix, but I found
myself waiting for time to collapse (sorry Dawg) and get back
to Doom. Even if he’s just goofing on bad hygiene (“Wash
Your Hands”), or delving in to a skin-on-skin resurrection
(“Winter Blues”). Like all the best comic books, much more
going on than treats the eye/ear here.

-Thurston Hunger

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