20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums
13. Madvillain by MF DOOM (2004)
Although MC Zev Love X was active in the underground hip-hop scene for well over a decade, his true power was revealed when he donned the mask and moniker of MF DOOM. Born Daniel Dumille and member of the trio KMD, DOOM’s origins lie in tragedy like any true comic book hero or villain. After the death of his brother and bandmate DJ Subroc in 1993, Dumille went into seclusion until he began to reappear at open mics in NYC wearing the mask of Fantastic Four villain Dr. [Vincent von] Doom. From that moment on, Dumille leaned into the visual, lyrical, and real-life antics of his persona. He never appeared in public without the mask, rarely gave interviews, used animation from classic Marvel cartoons in his music videos, and became notorious for sending lookalikes to his performances while he remained MIA. Other rappers wrote and created personas. DOOM created his own as he lived and breathed it.
Although MM…Food and Madvillainy dropped in the same year, it was the latter that launched the supervillain into the stratosphere of rap. Teaming up with super-producer Madlib, the duo crafted a 22-track, 46 minute album that dropped like Doom’s metal gloved hand holding the Infinity Gauntlet. Madlib brought the dissonant and precise boom bap funk mixed with freaked psychedelic and soul; DOOM brought the sharp, blunted flows and clever lyrics. Together their union was like a symbiote finding its perfect host. Classic tracks “Accordion,” “Meat Grinder,” “America’s Most Blunted,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” transcended the iPod’s of the backpackers and underground heads, drawing the attention of cultural tastemakers like Adult Swim and the world’s best MC’s.
Rest in power to the legendary metal-faced Villain. — Jon Carlos Evans