JJ Doom: Key To The Kuffs LP

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FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS MF DOOM HAS BEEN LIVING IN EXILE IN LONDON. After touring Europe in 2010 he ran into visa issues and was extradited to the place of his birth. This has probably put a damper on the completion of releases like Madvillainy 2 and kept DOOM away from family and friends. Fortunately the seasoned MC is resilient and has proven to be adaptable no matter what life throws at him. With Key To The Kuffs he's picked up the pieces, engaged his ever present sense of humor and given us a snapshot of the cult figure in exile. And with the collaboration of producer Jneiro Jarel he taps into some as yet unseen facets of the Metal Face Villain. The album may lack an overarching theme that we've seen on previous releases, but the MC and producer work well together. Jarel takes the opportunity to rein in the tendency to create chaotic beats that might be more at home on Brainfeeder. Instead he leaves plenty of space for DOOM to do his thing while still veering in to off-kilter weirdness from time to time. The real star of the show here is DOOM though. It feels as if this is the first time he's gotten the chance to spit some verses in awhile. He's on point and has more than enough to say, whether it's talking about Frankenfoods, his banishment from the US or referencing the 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption. His vocab is still fathomless and his voiced packed with grittiness that there are more than a few moments where you'll be pressing rewind. Features appearances by Beth Gibbons (Portishead), Khujo Goodie, Boston Fielder and Damon Albarn. Artwork by Stephen Powers aka ESPO. Recommended.

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