Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, Fri., Dec. 9, 2005
La Zona Rosa, Dec. 5
"The best MC with no chain you ever heard," MF Doom stupefied the healthy house at La Zona Rosa by brandishing a dizzying array of pure lyrical ability. With basic rhyme patterns delivered in a monotone, Doom's witty wordplay keeps audiences shaking their collective heads in wonder. Just as his previous punch line sinks in, Doom's already dropped another one just as worthy of reflection. Working backward through a catalog that includes underground staples MM ... Food?, Madvillainy, and Operation: Doomsday, the masked crusader bridges the gap between classic New York-centric boom-bap and modern expectations rooted in conceptual upgrades by stacking rhymes like scientific journals. Indeed "he blew the whole shit up on some what's-this-button-do." All the while, Doom's colleague-in-arms, Count Bass D, manned the turntables with a mind and energy fully enveloped by the "MF Academy." Twisting extended jazz and soul samples into heightened states of suspended animation, Doom's hourlong onslaught met an abrupt end devoid of an encore or any songs from his latest, the Dangermouse-produced The Mouse and the Mask. Hardly a complaint was heard, however, as Doom's beatdown showered fans with favorites including "Beef Rap," "Kon Karne," "Meat Grinder," "Figaro," "Rhymes Like Dimes," and "Go With the Flow." Vowing to "never go pop like snot bubbles," the Metal Face knows precisely how to satisfy his cult following of hip-hop iconoclasts with his third-person admission that "He wears a mask just to cover the raw flesh; a rather ugly brother with flows that's gorgeous." While Doom's stage show would certainly benefit from the addition of cartoon visuals to accompany the music, his emphasis on unyielding lyricism is an MF indeed.