Record Label: Metal Face Records
1999 classic debut album presented as a deluxe set, with Seven 7-Inches; 2 unique DOOM 45 adapters; new artwork by original cover artist Lord Scotch; and customer leatherette outer box with silver-foil DOOM mask and logo.
As the ‘90s came to a close, hip-hop music was thriving in two separate ecosystems. On one side, Puffy’s Bad Boy Records, Roc-A-Fella and the rest of the major label world was pumping plenty of shiny music by bling-ed out, made for MTV stars. These pop stars sold truckloads, but it felt like a lot of “empty calories.”
On the other side of the coin, a very strong underground scene had emerged in the mid-1990s worldwide. Hungry, innovative artists who had no use for the major label system thrived artistically in this ever-growing pond, ranging from Dr. Octagon and Jurassic 5 in Cali, Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers crew in the Midwest, and Company Flow and Definitive Jux in the East, among others.
As the decade closed, from somewhere even beyond both of those poles, a man who would come to rule many corners the underground universe for the next two decades appeared from depths that were darker than most of his fans would ever know: MF DOOM.
The artist formerly known as Zev Love X of major-label-but-underground heroes KMD had disappeared from most fans’ view in around 1994 – after his brother and artistic co-producer Subroc was killed, and the group’s Black Bastards album was shelved by Elektra. By 1997, DOOM started peeking his head up from the grime, with no-distribution singles on Bobbito Garcia’s Fondle ‘Em label like “Red & Gold” and “Dead Bent.”
As other appearances and singles trickled through the underground, by 1999 the album Operation: Doomsday appeared seemingly out of nowhere, again on Fondle ‘Em, and fans who actively ran from the glitzier side of rap music ate it up like they had been on a hunger strike. Musically raw and at-times off-kilter, former Fondle ‘Em singles like the aforementioned tunes plus “Gas Drawls,” “Hey!” and “Go With The Flow”were joined by a whole slew of new tunes. It all sounded familiar but new at the same time.
It shouldn’t be overlooked that in addition to the dusty, wobbling music, the former Zev Love X completely changed up his vocal style on the tracks that would land on Doomsday, chopping his flow up and bringing a whole new approach to his formerly liquid, and often humorous lyricism.
Standouts on this bonafide underground masterwork are honestly hard to pick, since fans each have their own DOOM faves. But “Doomsday,” “Rhymes Like Dimes,” “The MIC,” the experimental “Tick, Tick…” (with MF Grimm) and “Red & Gold” (with King Ghidra) are great examples of how stretched-out this visionary album is.
This new 7-Inch Collection edition via Get On Down includes seven 7-Inches that run in order of the songs from the original issue (including interludes). The records are housed in a custom black leatherette outer-box that is laced with silver-foil renderings of DOOM’s legendary mask and bubble graffiti logo on the outside, and a never-seen-before DOOM drawing by the legendary Lord Scotch, the original artist behind the Operation: Doomsday art, on the inside.
In addition to holding the 7-inch vinyl, the box also contains two metallic-silver colored 45 adapters, each a 3D rendering of DOOM’s gladiator mask. Picture sleeves for each of the seven pieces of wax all feature brand new work by Lord Scotch (Blake Lethem aka KEO aka Scotch79th) as well: new hand-lettered track listings on one side, and incredible new color illustrations on the flip that, when laid side-by-side, fit together like puzzle pieces, to form one large image.