Ranked: MF DOOM

As if 2020 couldn’t possibly get any worse, the year ended with the announcement of the passing of Danielle Dumille, better known as MF DOOM.

One of the most influential, poetic, and skilled MCs to ever live, Dumille produced and wrote numerous albums under a plethora of pseudonyms (Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, DOOM) that will forever stand as some of the greatest hip-hip achievements of all time. 

DOOM, the Supervillian-themed extraordinaire, will reign as one of the most unique and impressive rappers in the game for his lyrical ability and one-of-a-kind rhyme schemes; his sampling and unmatched production inspired an entire generation of young rappers. His work with Madlib as well as his solo projects are benchmarks in the world of rap; there will never be another MF DOOM. 

DOOM made a lot of music in his 49 years. As one of the main artists that introduced me to the genre of rap, he will always have a special place in my heart. Here are, in my opinion, my favorite DOOM projects from worst to best.

**Note: I didn’t include any “hidden” EP’s that were either unfinished or only available as .zip files in sketchy Google Drive folders. I also didn’t include any Special Herbs projects because they’re instrumentals (though they are some of my favorite hip-hop beats ever).**

12. Bookhead – JJ DOOM (2014)

It’s a shame that the track with Del Funky the Homosapien was tasked with an awful beat. It’s the only project from DOOM that severely lacks interesting production. 

11. Keys To The Kuffs – JJ DOOM (2013)

One of few albums from DOOM that I would dare to describe as “boring”. Sorry JJ.

10. Venomous Villain – Viktor Vaughn VV2 (2004)

DOOM’s sequel album to Vaudeville Villain, the second album from Viktor Vaughn pales in comparison to its predecessor. It’s one of few DOOM albums in which I find myself unimpressed by production and sampling choices. It’s also pretty short if you remove the interludes. 

9. Czarface Meets Metal Face – CZARFACE, MF DOOM (2018)

Two masked villains teamed up to create a collaborative project bent on common narratives of destruction and crime while retaining themes of old comic books. “Bombs Thrown” and “Captain Crunch” are both some of my favorites from the project, but there’s entirely too much filler. 

8. Nehruviandoom – Bishop Nehru (2019)

Taking more of the role as a producer rather than a rapper, MF DOOM uses his beat-making skills to aid his apprentice Bishop Nehru in creating a solid rap album. It’s the least cartoon-ish project DOOM’s created; it hardly feels like a DOOM project, but regardless it’s a great one.

7. Take Me To Your Leader – King Geedorah (2003)

Though 7th place might seem pretty low on this list, it’s only because DOOM has so many other phenomenal projects; this album is likely DOOM’s most underrated. As great as the rhymes and production are across the album, it’s biggest attraction is the introduction of a new supervillain: King Geedorah. It honestly has the same cohesiveness, creativity, and enjoyability in terms of a villainous narrative as Operation: Doomsday. Tracks like “Monster Zero” and “Anti-Matter” are definite standouts. 

6. Born Like This – MF DOOM (2009)

J Dilla and MF DOOM together. Enough said. 

5. Vaudeville Villain – Viktor Vaughn (2003)

When DOOM ran out of competition in the rap scene, he decided to simply create a fictional character to beef with; Viktor Vaughn, another one of DOOM’s many pseudonyms, was merely thought up to give the rapper some competition. Regardless, the album has some of my favorite DOOM songs like “Saliva” and “Can I Watch?”. The production and flows are practically flawless across the entire record with few tracks that bored me. 

4. The Mouse & The Mask – DANGERDOOM (2005)

Danger Mouse – producer for Gorillaz’ Demon Days, The Black Keys’ Brothers , and one half of the duo “Gnarls Barkley” – is somewhat of a jack of all trades in the music community. When he joined forces with MF DOOM to create The Mouse & The Mask, there was no way it could fail. This album easily has some of his discography’s best features, including Ghostface Killah and Talib Kweli. An all around creative project.

3. Operation: Doomsday – MF DOOM (1999)

Arguably DOOM’s most immersive narrative throughout his entire discography, Operation: Doomsday traps listeners in an old comic strip focused on the dastardly crimes of an evil overlord attempting to rule the world. The production on every song is undeniably smooth; tracks like “Doomsday” and “Rhymes Like Dimes” find DOOM’s beat-making skills at their best. 

2. MM…Food – MF DOOM (2004)

Another narrative in DOOM’s ever expanding universe, MM…FOOD merges themes of crime and deception with clever analogies about food. I’m not usually one for long, drawn-out skits in hip-hop albums, but the manner in which the skits are meshed together with wonky, catchy beats while building the general atmosphere of the album makes for one of few albums that would feel incomplete had it not included skits. Fully produced by DOOM himself, the project showcases his sampling ability. Beats like “One Beer” and “Potholderz” pull from otherworldly songs – certainly music that most producers would never think to sample. Obviously, the album is rife with wordplay and double entendres; however, the beats/production on every song here stand out more than anything. It’s an album where you can really hear DOOM having fun; it’s entertaining, catchy, upbeat, and creative in every aspect imaginable.

1. Madvillainy – Madvillain (2004)

Call it “predictable” for this album to sit at number one in the rankings, but the unparalleled creativity culminating from a match made in hip-hop heaven solidifies Madlib and DOOM’s  project as an absolute landmark in music history. Usually labeled under the genre, “experimental hip-hop”, Madvillain was arguably one of the first duos to ever create a masterpiece while simultaneously breaking a multitude of unwritten rules in the realm of rap. From immersive double entendres about crime and villainy to mind-blowing, groundbreaking production, the project creates an entire world; listeners are ensnared by strange, wacky beats while DOOM delivers stories and rhymes about heinous crimes and dastardly deeds. Songs like “Fancy Clown” and “All Caps” evoke emotion in the most inventive way possible; it’s equally as catchy as it is off putting. There will never be another Madvillainy.

Robbie Baker is .WAV’s Playlisting Director and a .WAV editorial writer, he wrote the article. Nushi Iyer is a .WAV creative contributor, she made the graphic.