It’s a running joke for some when the holiday season come around that the only way to get through dealing with your relatives and co-workers at the annual Christmas party is if you drink a cup (or 20) of holiday cheer. The cover of “Doom Xmas” takes that one step further. Why not simply decorate your tree with bottles of Olde E instead of Christmas ornaments? Judging by the dead soldier on the ground, DOOM already had one while decorating. That should come as no surprise. Hip-Hop’s favorite Metal Face Villain is well known for his odes to libations with songs like “One Beer” and “All Outta Ale”, so for DOOM to get “Dead Bent” for the holidays is a natural.
“Wonderfull” is easily my favorite mash-up on the album. Cookin Soul blends together Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” and Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.” The latter is actually my LEAST favorite holiday song. It’s way too saccharine. By stripping it down to just the synths and mixing it with that Busta bass line, it goes from intolerable to… well… WONDERFUL. Hearing MF DOOM spit over the combination truly makes it a wonderful Christmas time.
Ne’erdowells beware though. The super Villain isn’t busting original bars to these beats. The mash up in question here goes beyond taking seasonal songs and combining them with banging beats. Cookin Soul went one step further by appropriating acapella bars from other DOOM tracks, and that’s something that MF is quite Grinch-like about. He’s famous for not putting out vocal only tracks on 12″ singles simply BECAUSE he doesn’t want people to reinterpret his art with new beats, but that hasn’t stopped others from doing it anyway. If “Smoke a Lil Xmas Tree” sounds like De La Soul’s “Rock Co Kane Flow” that’s due to Cookin Soul having to work with whatever leftovers he could find at the table to make his own Christmas sandwich.
Now who’s to say that Dumile didn’t endorse this collaboration in the end? The artwork looks official, his logo is on it, and the fact that you can buy limited edition festive vinyl for the holidays at least implies he collaborated on this one and is getting a cut of the proceeds. He may not have contributed any new or original vocals for “Doom Xmas” but that doesn’t say he wasn’t listening to what Soul cooked up, nodding/bobbing his head in approval, and giving it his official endorsement. This album dropped on me at random without a press release and the only official landing zone I hit was a Bandcamp page for the aforementioned vinyl. Look — this FEELS official but don’t take my word for it. The mercurial DOOM isn’t around to ask about it — he’s too busy getting down with some spiked eggnog.
Your enjoyment of tracks like “The Holiday Agenda” is directly proportional to your ability to appreciate the kind of music you hear on XM’s “Holly” channel in December. For this reviewer any chance to inject hip-hop into this time of year is to be celebrated, because there are far too few rap albums with Christmas themes and some are just downright corny despite their best attempts. Happily “Doom Xmas” is not one of these. There’s an unnaturally natural feeling to hearing DOOM on these instrumentals. He’s proudly half in the bag half of the time, so it’s like hearing your drunk Uncle tell stories while your siblings pass the turkey and the mashed potatoes. I suspect the interludes were lifted from an [adult swim] special but they sound tailor made for this CD in a way they never could have anticipated. Have a cup of cheer with “Doom Xmas“, but stay away from that mistletoe.