Doom

Born Like This (Lex)

Phases & Stages

Doom

Born Like This (Lex)

Since 2005's The Mouse and the Mask collaboration with Danger Mouse, Doom's activity sunk so low that rumors began about the London-born, New York-bred rapper, aka Daniel Dumile, hiring ghost performers to handle his sets. Born Like This, his third disc, won't encourage the idea that he's done much during the hiatus besides drop the MF from his moniker and work on his tongue twisters, but the Madvillain sells it. There's something about spitting "major vets spaded through the vest with a bayonet" ("Microwave Mayo") that doesn't ask for change. His own murky-slum-town production sets the vibe of Born, four Jake One and one of Madlib's beats falling in line, while J Dilla – whose Donuts gets lifted twice – is left almost untouched on "Lightworks." Raekwon, Ghostface, Slug, and gritty newcomer Empress Starhh ("Still Dope") provide lyrical relief throughout, but at just more than 40 minutes, there's little need to part with Doom's "Rap Ambush."

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