morning folks! this week continues our discography review of MF DOOM, this time checking out his second 2004 record, a collaboration with Madlib as Madvillain, Madvillainy:

in what is standard fare at this point, we’re greeted at the start of the record with some edited sound bites in The Illest Villains, and honestly, there’s some great creativity here in how they’re twisted to be about a group instead of what was almost certainly a single villain. very good. Accordion has a somber, steady beat, with a FANTASTIC set of rhymes over it. the false transition into Meat Grinder is fun, though the full intro feels very disconnected from the rest of the track. the rhymes here are very heavy and plodding in a really neat way, and dang there is some DENSE referencing in this track. incredibly impressive. i love the beat in Bistro, and the comically long restaurant name is excellent, there’s just such an understated humor to this track. im a fan. Raid feels so jazzy, it’s a lotta fun. DOOM’s verse here is fun and brisk, and M.E.D.’s verse makes a good pair. America’s Most Blunted is a stupid song but i do enjoy it. Madlib’s persona Quasimoto is the feature here, and it’s fine. i’m not huge on it but i don’t dislike it. Sickfit’s a nice airy, instrumental beat. Rainbows samples some beautiful trumpets and creates this strange, otherworldly kinda vibe. definitely a weird track, but real nice. Curls is a bittersweet reminiscing, with a proper beat to match. hard to not groove with it. excellent track. Do Not Fire! is another sample-only track – i think i like this less than Sickfit. Money Folder comes back in strong. i really appreciate what they do here to avoid putting something like a chorus between the two verses, and there’s some really funny lines here – what stuck out to me was the baseball-bowling pun near the end of the second verse, haha. Quasimoto returns in Shadows of Tomorrow, with Madlib delivering the second half as himself. it’s a nice track, and though i’m not familiar with Sun-Ra it’s neat as a tribute track. Operation Lifesaver aka Mint Test is kinda dumb, haha. god the sample work on Figaro is excellent, and DOOM’s delivery here is so steady and measured on one of the densest tracks here. incredible. Wildchild delivers the rhymes on Hardcore Hustle, and this one’s real nice. i like the choice of beat to complement Wildchild’s frenzied delivery. Strange Ways is a very good track, a lot more serious in topic and quite excellent bars. it didn’t hit me until a few listens in that Fancy Clown is delivery by Viktor Vaughn, complaining about his girlfriend cheating on him with DOOM, lol. very good joke. Stacy Epps sings on Eye, which has an extremely ephemeral vibe to it. very nice track.  Supervillain theme is our final instrumental track, and it definitely feels like a third act development track, like walking up the stairs to a final confrontation. and what a boss fight at the top of the stairs All Caps is. excellent beat, and a fantastic pair of verses. excellent. Great Day is a nice, mellow track as we approach the end of the record, and DOOM continues the trend of some really rapid-fire jokes here. good stuff. Rhinestone Cowboy, the closing track of the record (and the longest song), is a nice outro of the record, with it’s own built in encore, haha. combines a lot of what the rest of the record has going on – excellent, catchy beat, and steady, relentless bars that are equally humorous and braggadocious.

faves – Accordion, Bistro, Curls, Figaro, Strange Ways, Fancy Clown, All Caps, Rhinestone Cowboy
dislikes –

yknow before getting into this record it was described to me as being a lot of rapid fire tracks, and man it definitely is that. 22 tracks, only one substantially over 3 minutes, and a wide range of both beats constructed and bars laid over them. the sheer variety is really impressive, especially since it all listens so smoothly and fits together as a neat package.

this definitely feels like it’s taking a lot of the lessons learned off of Operation: Doomsday and just hones down on it, refining the formula until it runs extremely cleanly. there are some deeply, deeply good cuts, here, and which there are some tracks that fall a little flatter for me, the package as a whole just runs to smoothly. excellent package.

Madvillainy – 9/10

next up is the second of the 2004 albums, it’s VV:2 under the Viktor Vaughn moniker!

first: Operation: Doomsday | the previous: Vaudeville Villain | next: VV:2

all my reviews for MF DOOM