Boomkat Product Review:
One of the greatest rap full-lengths of all time, 'Operation: Doomsday' evolves into its final form, packaged with 12" versions, demos, and instrumentals to complete the picture. If you just buy one DOOM album...
They don't come any more essential than this. 'Operation: Doomsday' originally appeared on Fondle 'Em in 1999, and introduced MF DOOM to most of us outside the Tri State area. Daniel Dumile had been working undercover for some time, having disappeared when KMD splintered and his brother DJ Subroc died; a name change later and Zev Love X was MF DOOM, a supervillain behind a metal mask who would pioneer a trippier but no less biting form of East Coast boom bap. The album was well received at the time, but its importance has snowballed in the time since it was released - in 2022, its influence can be heard across the underground spectrum, in Los Angeles' beat scene, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator, in Kaytranada, even in the UK's club landscape.
You could say that DOOM was just building on the streetwise surrealism of Kool Keith, but he possessed a unique swagger and production style that's been rinsed and repeated for over two decades now. He managed to do something special here, constructing skits from unfussy nerd culture - not the middle class nerd fare that generation x steered into the mainstream, but the kind of vivid sci-fi and comicbook TV trash that would belt out of flickering CRT boxes over Frosted Flakes on a Saturday, later inspiring Adult Swim. In between the skits, DOOM made neck-snapping beats out of forgotten disco and funk loops, rapping as if he'd swallowed a compendium of cultural phraseology and then belched it up, semi-digested.
Every moment here, even if it isn't as developed as some of his later work (we highly recommend the crown jewel: King Gheedorah's "Take Me To Your Leader"), has been completely absorbed into the architecture of the era. Even when we can't see it, it's towering over us like a Roman archway.