Artists from the underground Hip-Hop genre have given us many great and memorable mixtapes. But since the mixtape is free, fans ignore and forgive any shortcomings these releases may have. An Album on the other hand, is supposed to be different; it is supposed to be “professional”, it is supposed to have a coherent concept, at the very least it’s supposed to have a level of continuity from start to finish. Bishop Nehru and MF Doom’s Album “NehruvianDOOM” is sadly neither, and for a Rapper who has shown great promise in the past, this isn’t exactly a great start.
NehruvianDOOM begins with the opening track “First Day Of Class” which is composed of a collage of varied elements, ranging from music, non-linguistic singing, to a sample from the film Aliens. At 1 minute 48 seconds however, this introduction seems overly long and slightly unconnected, and unfortunately this becomes a trend of the entire Album. “Om” then follows the lyric-free opener, but with its own 30 second intro, the start of NehruvianDOOM takes too long to get going. With MF Doom on the chorus of “Om”, and Nehru giving us his standard Golden-Era-throwback delivery, the song is pretty decent. But just as you get into it, another skit follows (this time concerning the pineal gland) and breaks up the flow.
Then comes two very strange and almost unpleasant songs; “Mean The Most” and “So Alone”. Both tracks contain ‘singing-badly-on-purpose’ choruses, the pair of them coming across as some kind of Easy-Listening-Hip-Hop. The Jazzy elements of “Mean The Most” are fine, but the chorus “You already kno-o-ow, that to me you mean the most. Baby-y-y” is teetering on horrible. Then there’s another almost 2 minute long skit before “So Alone” kicks in. “So Alone” is again a slow and mellow offering, which starts with promise but veers off into another poor chorus with Bishop exclaiming “I’m so so alone, I’m so so alone”. These songs would have been better left off the Album, but if they had I guess we’d have a 7 track release instead of 9. So regrettably they’re still there.
“Darkness” with its staccato snare drum and mariachi-like horns sounds a bit better, but again Bishop’s lyrics feel a bit too lax especially during the “How about you?” chorus. Then once again, at the close of this song we are confronted with another 40-something-second skit. The next track “Coming For You” is also pretty acceptable (both in terms of lyrics and production) and the song itself seems stylistically matched with the first track “Om”. But with the chorus sounding like something from The Mighty Boosh coupled with its short length, “Coming For You” gives the listener a hint of triviality and amateurishness.
“Caskets” then brings us more laid-back Jazz-Hop production, this time with better lyrics, but somehow the song feels like a mixtape freestyle rather than an Album track. Then surprise, surprise we have yet another 1:50-ish skit which fucks things up once more. The next joint “Great Things” though listen-able, has another poor chorus, and this is followed by the final track “Disastrous”. These final songs both feature 1970’s-sounding production and feel somehow unconnected from the majority of the Album. The final pair of songs, though not completely dire, are not that great either. And with a fade out of the last track at the 2:15 mark (which then leads to another skit-cum-outro) the Album is way too short, and contains way too little material.
A nine track album can’t have this many interruptions. Numerous skits may work on Albums containing 20-plus tracks (such as Jedi Mind Tricks’ “Violent By Design”) but on an Album this short it feels like the filler is taking over the CD. Some of the skits feel like they weren’t even intended to be on this Album; the Aliens sample for example is there just because there was a character called ‘Bishop’. NehruvianDOOM basically feels like an EP, and with MF Doom featuring on multiple tracks; it doesn’t even feel like you’ve heard enough of Bishop Nehru considering it’s also his release.
The album and Bishop Nehru himself are a throwback to Hip-Hop‘s Golden Era, akin to something from 1993 to 1996. But had this album been released back then, it wouldn’t be considered anything special. Fans would agree with Nehru’s sentiments on the track “Great Things”, with Bishop rapping “I’m a do great things”. Unfortunately “NehruvianDOOM” isn’t the great thing we all expected. Hopefully Nehru can regroup, maybe link up with Que Hampton again and bring us something which is truly worthy of his talent.
It’s Not All Doom And Gloom.
READ MORE AT WHATWENTRIGHTWITH.COM…
What Went Right With… The Nehruvian EP?
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Completely agree. Was so hyped about the album as a long time DOOM fan and a recent Nehru fan.
Heard Pitchfork’s Advance preview and was so underwhelmed it shocked me.
Hate to say it, but DOOM seems to be heading downhill and the only to change this rocky path before he leaves us altogether is to get back on the Madvillain shit.
I hate it when ‘artists’ throw stuff in just for the sake of it, devoid of any thought or reason. Its as they simply thought “Hey lets put this track here because doing so would be so edgy amirite? Hahahahaha people will hear it and be like “wow that so diff so edgy wow!” Hahahahaah im so clever”
And then there are the clowns who only THINK they did something edgy but fail to realise that their idea was bloody stupid or mediocre or ultimately a missed opportunity for something that would actually frikkin work.
Thoughts on MF DOOM as a solo artist?
Operation: Doomsday and Madvillainy are both probably in my top ten albums of all time.
Yes, he’s a unique and distinctive artist but I’ll admit I haven’t heard his entire discography.
I think you’d like his anti war song from 2004, Strange Ways.
Dope. Love this part:
They pray four times a day, they pray five
Who[se] ways is strange when it’s time to survive?
Some will go of they own free will to die
Others take them with you when they blow sky high
What’s the difference? All you get is lost children
Came to this review cuz Doom fans (white hipsters) like this album for some reason(?). The beats u liked were re-used from Doom’s Special Herbs, so the album sounds old at its good parts. BTW I know Doom’s fanbase is terrible (what non political rappers isnt?) but how have you never listened to Madvillainy which is an amazing (at the time underground) album? Knowing doom and not listening to it feels like knowing Immortal Technique without listening to Rev. Vol. 2