DOOM: Unexpected Guests

DOOM: Unexpected Guests

DOOM used to rival Madlib as hip-hop’s most prolific artist, but before this year’s Born Like This, he hadn’t put out a new album since 2005’s Dangermouse collaboration The Mask And The Mouse. Now eager to make up for lost time, DOOM is chasing Born with Unexpected Guests, a compilation of old tracks that dips deep into his catalog of track-stealing guest appearances. Guests doubles as an alternate greatest-hits album, cherry-picking essential collaborations like “Da Supafriendz” with Vast Aire and “Angels,” a Charlie’s Angels-themed teaming with Ghostface Killah that provides a teasing glimpse at what the long-promised pairing of these two lyrical legends might have been, or might still become. “Bell Of DOOM” succinctly puts hip-hop’s crass materialism in its proper place with the opening lines, “Who got the most whips, gats, and cash? / If you ask the Villain, he’ll say ‘Who gives a rat’s ass?’” DOOM remains one of rap’s funniest and most unpredictable wordsmiths, with a wonderfully anachronistic slang vocabulary that goes back a century and a frame of reference that encompasses everything from Dick Cavett’s gift of gab to Rollie Fingers’ sweet handlebar mustache. Many of these tracks will be familiar to DOOM fans, who tend to be of the obsessive/completist variety, but it’s still fun to hear DOOM’s extracurricular activities collected in one volume. Guests doesn’t include some of DOOM’s greatest guest spots, but that just leaves the door open for a sequel, if not a full-on box set.

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