Excepting maybe Kanye West, basically all the hip-hop I like is at least a decade old: Fugees, Digable Planets, old Tribe,
RZA’s GZA’s Liquid Swords album, that sort of thing. I’ll tap my foot to the odd 50 Cent song if I’m out at a bar, but I’m probably not going to buy it and listen to it around the house. Naturally, this has left me in a state of constant panic that Sasha Frere-Jones will tag me as a racist. So it’s a relief to discover, via the Chrome Children compilation (cobranded, oddly enough with Adult Swim), that a lot of the artists on the Stones Throw label are doing the sort of smart, jazz-inflected stuff I liked in a lot of those early-90s artists. In particular, after checking out their guy Madlib‘s collaborative project with MF DOOM, Madvillain, I finally decided to hunt down a bunch of DOOM’s other stuff—including his album with Danger Mouse (currently of Gnarls Barkley fame) and his work under the pseudonym Viktor Vaughn (as in Victor von Doom).
I’d been hearing good things about DOOM for a while, but again, not being a huge hip-hop afficionado, hadn’t felt it particularly urgent to follow up. Clearly, I should’ve—his lyrics have plenty of the standard fare, but you’ll also find some geekalicious pastiches of comics and sci-fi references, e.g.:
Next experiment 12 strands from double helix
No I haven’t seen Kess, Neelix
(Oh yeah just you stay away from her with those lyrics)
Please… ain’t nobody fuckin afta’ her
I’m outta here soon as I fix the flux capacitor
More to the point, I’ve always just been a bigger sucker for instrumentation and beats that work better under a chunky set of headphones than, as Mr. Cent would have it, in the club. Anyway, yeah, might be worth checking out if your tastes run that way.