Born Like This

By Laurent Fintoni

One of the most anticipated musical returns of the year goes to DOOM, ex-MF but still a mask-wearing, full-time-rhyming supervillain. Patience has most definitely been a virtue for fans who have had to wait nearly five years for an album that didn’t involve DOOM collaborating with someone else (see Dangerdoom and Madvillain for more on those if you haven’t already). Was the wait worth it? Or, as he croons himself on That’s That towards the end of the album, ‘Could it be I stayed away too long’? The answer is a yes on both counts. Born Like This is a polished album, one that rarely leaves you wanting to skip ahead. The late Dilla, Madlib, Mr Chop, Jake One and DOOM himself all provide some solid production and the perfect backdrop for DOOM’s trademark tongue twisting lyrics, metaphors and, on Costume Foolery, some downright surreal storytelling. Jake One produces the album’s best track, the short but intensely sweet Ballskin, and Ghostface makes a welcome appearance on Angelz. Raekwon, Kurious and Slug also appear, as well as female MC Empress Stahhr, though her cameo is best quickly forgotten. DOOM did stay away too long and has returned to a different rap landscape since the one he left behind in '04. Ultimately though, that just makes Born Like This all the more pleasurable and needed.
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