MF DOOM - Operation: Doomsday [Deluxe Edition]

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Operation Doomsday's return to retail is a welcomed history lesson, a study of isolation, as well as a reminder in just how fun and powerful Hip Hop and can be.

One of the crown jewels of the underground Hip Hop glory years is MF DOOM's 1999 album, Operation Doomsday. The KMD front-man returned from hiatus with no desire to show his face, but a linguistic outlet that elevated him to one of the greatest emcees of the last decade. Confined to a crate of sample references, a few close associates and six years of pain, drinking, and a bout with homelessness after the loss of his brother Subroc, DOOM emerged as a stream of conscious enigma. His simple productions and complex rhyme schemes made him a cult classic, propelling him to the masses with a persona and mystique that both opened doors and provided closure. Remastered and packaged by Metal Face (in conjunction with Stones Throw Records) with a metal lunchbox, this relic, as it has before, returns to retail, as a testament to Indie Rap's greatness, collectibility and an offering to new fans, hoping to get "dead bent" with the drunken master.

Unlike past re-pressings, Stones Throw actually remastered DOOM's solo classic. It's arguable that both DOOM and Bobbito's Fondle 'Em Records intended for the original to sound sparse, dubbed and dirty. Just as they've done with archival recordings by Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf and slews of compilations, the Stones Throw crew was careful not to make DOOM's isolated masterpiece sound like it was made in any semblance of a big studio. Instead, the muddied recordings are simply crisper for the ear and quality is enhanced as DOOM and Bob may have intended, had this project had a few extra dollars behind it, and come to CD in larger run. Moreover, this edition deeds all bootleg notions. 42 tracks in total compiled the minor nuances of the vinyl single versions of popular songs, include instrumentals, and even some alternate versions, which in the case of "?" and "Go With The Flow" are raw recordings of ciphers, impromptu sessions and the kind of spontaneity that made this album, and this time in Hip Hop so damn exciting.

It could be the collector-savvy packaging (complete with trading cards), the remaster or just the 12 years of resonance, but Operation Doomsday finally gets the presentation and attention it deserves. As arguably DOOM's finest hour, the release is definitively late '90s New York, and with all of its technical mastery, still sounds like effortless music-making. Guests such as Kurious Jorge, MF Grimm and Bobbito's own Cucumber Slice alias make this work an interesting intersection of early '90s emcees adapting to the Fat Beats-era of Hip Hop, as the birth of Monsta Island Czars and DOOM's '00s-era entourage pivot towards the King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn and Madvillain years. That link between DOOM's KMD years and his Internet-era resurgence makes this album so special, and such a pleasure to revisit.

With a handful of late '90s singles compiled together, MF DOOM made an album that seemed more thematic than most structured releases. Daniel Dumile's ability to channel pain through aggressive emceeing, and invent a character and world when his own appeared unstable made him not only a would-be magazine cover icon, but also one of the greatest comeback stories in Hip Hop history. For those who opened the book at later chapters, Operation Doomsday's return to retail is a welcomed history lesson, a study of isolation, as well as a reminder in just how fun and powerful Hip Hop and can be.

Purchase Operation Doomsday (Deluxe Edition) by MF DOOM

50 Comments

  • Anonymous

    dope east coast

  • Anonymous

    MF DOOM IZ DA DOPEST MC LAST 10 YEARS NO DOUBT !!! TOP 10 MC EVER ...... NPEERSH

  • MCEIHTLASTMANSTANDING

    CLASSIC

  • ppl b crazy these dayz

    this is OK, hell no classic shit, to be honest it was OK back then now its less than OK. ppl need to understand that this was not underground, it was alternative hip hop for hippies and fags, dockevoc you the only 1 in here who know what classic means.

  • Anonymous

    Weird white people like DOOM

  • Dylan L Shaffer

    omg! lil b! this album is sooo amazing! omg!

  • P-Funk00

    Best underground Hip Hop album ever.

  • Kalakuta

    "Its The beat, he hear it in his sleep sometimes blare it in ya jeep so your people could stare at them rhymes" Just felt like typing that......Dude is easily the most slept on of all time.

  • comptonsmostwanted

    another DOOM classic madvilliany mmm food Operation DOOMSday Victor Vaughn all dope

  • dockevoc

    I don't get it, someone bought me this cd and called it a "classic" and I all I heard was a bunch of songs that sound the same - a bunch of words rhyming with no point to them whatsoever over some average beats. Classic? What am I missing here? And I'm not trying to diss the guy cuz I know he's got a huge following but honestly I seriously don't see anything special about this at all.

    • dockevoc

      word up jools. I never brought up drake or Jay Z, btw! I value anyone's opinion who knows whats good with Ironman. Peace.

    • joolsphillips

      Its a stone cold classic in my mind. Dockevoc, on your list of classics I would put Ironman top, then Doom, then everything else. At the end of the day though, everyone has different taste in music. I mean, I don't really dig Tupac, Drake or Jaz-Z too much apart from one or two cuts, but I do dig for example RZA, Common and Cube. What sounds sh!t to one person is a classic to someone else - respect each other's views all.

    • dockevoc

      I never said I didn't respect Doom, I just think the term "classic" is an extreme overstatement for this album. I consider EFIL4ZAGGIN, The Diary, Ironman and Me Against The World "classics," this? Sorry. I've listened to thousands of hip hop tapes, records and cd's (I'm 33 - so FUCK YOU AND YOUR SAMMY ADDAMS COMMENT 'Fruity Mike') and listen to 'classics' every day. IMO this just isn't one of them. I mean, fuck, is this really comparable to DITC, which came out around the same time? Internal Affairs? Muddy Waters? Murda Music? Aquemini? Moment of Truth?

    • $$mike

      you're obviously so fucking obtuse you can't comprehend a metaphor...go listen to your pack lil b bullshit sammy adams cocksucker AND FUCK OFF RESPECT THE MF

    • GRKiller

      DOOM's appeal is his wordplay and his production. If you think every track sounds the same, you're choosing to hear it that way. His production style is the same throughout the album (but thats the goal of making an album), but the songs dont sound the same.

    • ireli

      maybe you shouldnt listen to hip hop if you dont like doom

    • dockevoc

      Which was what, exactly? Trying to make an album where every track sounds the same with a mumbling delivery of words with no real point?

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations, you didn't get Doom's whole concept.

    • NJ

      You, my good son are what I call deaf.

  • Clarence Rogers

    STILL the shit..I don't care how many times it gets released...straight classic!

  • Anonymous

    man wtf another edition

  • Tommy Spinelli

    underground hip hop classic

  • MCEIHTCOMPTON8

    CLASSIC ALBUM BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE EMCEE'S MF DOOM IS SICK ON THAT MIC WITH THE RHYMES MOST UNIQUE ARTIST OUT THERE . WANNA HEAR SOME NEW SHIT FROM THE MASKED RAPPER

  • gutter man

    album is dope but, put out a new album and stop rehashing old shit.

  • Anonymous

    Why are they comparing mixtapes to real albums? I don't understand the music industry sometimes!

  • HipHop

    Doom is, without a doubt, one of the illest to ever touch a mic. His rhyme scheme is incredible, but he's not only that, he drops so much social commentary in his rhymes and it still sounds entertaining as fuck, because he mixes it up with that typical Doom humor. But the best thing about him are his aliases, so many dope concepts on his albums. IMO he never relased a whack album, there's no release in his catalog that I don't like and that's unbelievable when you see how much he's released. His debut is a classic, I just like how rips tracks, but the jazzy and easy feeling is still there. Madvillainy and the first Viktor Vaughn are my favorites, it would be too dope if he decides to drop a sequel for one or even both of them. I'd rather have the re-release with the old artwork, which was much better.

    • khordkutta

      He did drop a sequel to Vaudeville Villain,called Venemous Villain, not near as good as the Vaudeville, primarily due to production.

  • DOOOM

    mf doom is in my top 5 favorite mcs ever. hes a fucking genius and there is no other like him. i dont care if they wrote a review for him everyday for the next 10 years DOOM will never get the true recognition he deserves. big ups to hiphopdx and we need that madvillain to drop

  • Mads Degn Gregersen

    Should one start here if wanting to get into doom?

  • Anonymous

    mf doom is the face of underground rap. dude is so fucken ill.

  • Christopher Stein

    Great rhymes great samples. A genius album

  • NJ

    I remember bumpin this on the bus on the way to work every day in Queens when I was 19, the definition of an underground classic. Brilliant from start to finish and the deluxe package is actually worth every cent, brought back some brilliant memories, thank you Doom.

  • Doubl Negative

    I'm now in the possession of Operation: Doomsday on Fondle 'Em vinyl, a tattoo and now the new special edition CD boxset. I got the tatt mainly 'cause I'm a huge Doom fan, but I still feel the first Viktor Vaughn is his best ish. That LP's artwork is too inconspicuous, though. Still, I recommend all DX readers to cop this joint, although I suspect anyone who taps this story already owns Doomsday, in whatever carnation.

  • Machine Gun Funk

    Awesome review