Despite arguably making self-insanity into a marketing gimmick, Kool Keith has slammed the brakes on his mental and shifted into reverse.
In the process, Mr. Thornton has reinvented his rap style circa the late 1980's; which isn't a bad place to revisit. Keith even in his heyday was always a bugged-out MC but in his earlier days the lyrics had a degree of topicality and venom for weaker contemporaries. Dr. Dooom makes this point clear by assassinating his alter-ego Dr. Octagon in the opening skit. Therefore, it's either time for something new or something that smells dead and rotted.
Dooom undoubtedly has no love lost for up-and-coming MC's on "No Chorus" when indie rappers hear lines like, "You never paid no dues like Cold Crush and Afrika Bambaata," and find out that 90% of the people on their guestlist left before the set was over. Then on "Leave Me Alone", Dooom struts and brags "I got 40 grand for three minutes to write a song for Prodigy". His machismo and loathing of mediocre MC's dominate this album as he livens up songs like "I Run Rap", "You Live at Home With Your Mom" and "Dr. Dooom's in the Room" in classic Ultramagnetic style.
Dooom still got some bugged out songs like "Apartment 223", "Welfare Love" and "Mental Case" but solid production by Kutmasta Kurt saves it from becoming a rehash of earlier personas and played styles. Just nutty enough to diss No Limit and the Wu-Tang Clan with funny liner notes and never even mention them on record, Dr. Dooom scores a win for hip-hop's favorite lunatic.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: April 27, 1999