Deep Rap Cuts: MF Doom
For a certain subset of rap fans, MF Doom needs no introduction as one of the genre's greatest voices. Part man, part myth, the self-proclaimed super-villain has beguiled listeners with his intricate rhyme puzzles -- lyrics that shift perspectives from first to third person, dip between crime narratives and interior monologues, and are chock full of punch lines. Doom's career dates back to the genre's golden age when, as one-third of K.M.D. -- the Staten Island group he cofounded with his late brother, DJ Subroc -- he made his debut on 3rd Bass' 1989 hit "The Gas Face." Between 2003 and 2005, he released an impressive six full-length albums that culminated in his Top 40-charting collaboration with Danger Mouse, Danger Doom's The Mouse and the Mask.
Another highlight from that run is Madvillain's Madvillainy, his project with producer Madlib. Released on March 23, 2004, Madvillainy is getting a new burst of attention -- blogs and websites have turned "anniversaries" of classic albums into semi-regular posts -- since it is unquestionably one of the best rap albums of the past decade or so. This playlist features plenty of Madvillainy highlights like "Accordion," and also digs into the breadth of his extensive discography, with K.M.D. favorites like the Sesame Street-quoting "Humrush," a poetic "Word of Advice" for post-rock band Fog, and cuts from Key to the Kuffs, his recent JJ Doom adventure with experimental producer Jneiro Jarel.