Artist: MF DoomTitle: MM..Food Rating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Alvin aqua boogie Blanco

If skeptics took some of their time spent panning underground Hip-hop music for being dull and lifeless-admittedly, on many occasions rightfully so-and used it to listen to MF Doom’s MM..Food (Rhymesayers), they would shut their traps for a little less than an hour. Highly anticipated is actually an understatement when it comes to indie rap connoisseurs and the follow up to Doom’s 1999 debut Operation: Doomsday album. He’s dropped plenty of albums since, most recently Madvillainy with Madlib and Venomous Villain, but who really knows what lurks behind the metal forged mask he dons? Is he on some super bugged out next sh*t? Or, is he just bored with plenty of beats at his disposal along with an overflowing rhyme book? Whatever the scenario, the recipe at the moment leads us to MM..Food, a raw but nutritious heaping helping of progressive Hip-hop at its best.

“Do the statistics, how he bust lyrics that’s too futuristic for ballistics, and far too eccentric for forensics, I dedicate this mix to Subroc the Hip-hop Hendrix,” spits Doom on “Kon Karne”. Besides its display of superior rhyme proficiency, the ode to his late brother reminds those who don’t know, or may have just forgotten, that first and foremost Doom is Zev Love X of KMD fame. Coming of age and thriving during the early 90’s, he’s still an adherent of the era’s trailblazing focus on skills and ingenuity, without sounding like a relic. After an intro that’s a collage of movie (Wild Style) and comic strip inspired vocal snippets, the opening track “Beef Rapp” finds Doom running through his trademark stream of conscious rhymes, filled with darkly comedic double entendres (“keep a cheap hooker that’s off the hook like Ma Bell…”).

Doom, or whatever he goes by nowadays (King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, et. al.), does occasionally focus his raps into cohesive topics. He lyrically illustrates the ideal definition of friends on the Whodini sampling “Deep Fried Frenz” and with the help of Mr. Fantastik lambasts loose-lipped tattle tales over the soothing but funky electric guitar of “Rap Snitch Knishes”. But the Metal Faced Villain may be at his most sinisterly creative on “Hoe Cakes”. Starting with a simple beat box, Doom (yeah, he produces most of the album too) then steers in the opening chords of Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” to crash the cipher into a tense but satisfying composition.

The instrumental tracks thrown in the middle of the album (“Poo-Putt Platter”, “Fig Leaf Bi-Carbonate”) as well as the vocal snippets interspersed throughout make MM..Food a piece of work to be digested in one sitting rather than sampled piecemeal. Also, even the most easily digestible grooves, say the chase scene fitting horns of “Kookies”, would be a far stretch if considered as a potential addition to commercial radio playlists. But an Easy Listening version of Hip-hop music has never been a Doom priority, thus making MM..Food the perfect auditory meal to temper the hunger pangs of his fresh Hip-hop starved devotees.