Zed Love X. Damn. This really is a great album. I do have some issues with it, but I enjoy it more than I dislike it by far. Doom (I guess that’s how I’ll refer to him throughout) really shines with his ability to articulate his lyrics and tell stories. That into track is a great example. The first line into “Mr. Hood at Piocalles Jewelry/Crackpot” really hit me, “This reminds me of the days of dwelling with those / Who killed off the weak for fancy clothes and hoes too”. The story that follows is brilliantly vivd.
“I first met Crackpot in like Head Starts
Since then I knew he wasn’t too head smart
As I scribbled in art he insisted on standing in the sandbox
To collect unknown amounts of pebbles and stones to throw rocks
“It’s in the wrists”, he said when telling me in early physics lessons
“Two atoms can’t occupy the same space at the same time”
Here he is telling the history of a kid who becomes a drug dealer and eventually gets locked up for it, “But a pocket full of pebbles what locked up Crackpot”. Such an innovative way to illustrate growing up in the drug game. It’s lyrics like this that really prove, to me, what an amazing emcee Doom is.
With “Who Me? (With an Answer From Dr. Bert)”, Doom shows he’s more than just a storytelling rapper, but a conscious rapper as well.
Holy smokes! I see it’s a joke
To make a mockery of the original folks
Okay, joke’s over, but still it cloaks over us
He is talking about Little Black Sambo. As well as the line:
Pigment, is this a defect in birth?
Or more an example of the richness on Earth?
Lips and eyes dominant traits of our race
Does not take up 95 percent of one’s face But still I see
In the back two or three
Ignorant punks pointing at me
I think the use of dialogue in this track, as well as the prior track, really aids to the tracks vibe.
Over all, my favorite track has got to be “Figure of Speech”. I feel it’s very throwback. Very common for hip hop of the time: “The motto goes: sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll / I prefer: love, hugs and hip hop soul”. It’s very meta in many ways, as he talks about making music when he says:
Place of rest is Doom’s room where we loot the tune
And add a sonic kick Boom
A dash of this then up next, last but not least
Is Zev Love X, this figure of speech..haha
Lyrically, it’s not the best track on the album, as I think that “Mr. Hood at Piocalles Jewelry/Crackpot” takes that title, but it’s catchy and I fuck with it. “808s Man” is also a great display of his lyrically ability. Equating the people in a fight to that of musical instruments and styles is really dope and he absolutely kills that track. Great metaphor in here.
Some of the problems I have with Mr. Hood come mostly with the repetition. After listening to the album in it’s entirety I feel like a lot of it sounds the same. They use dialogue in a majority of their tracks. The beats all sound relatively similar. Granted this was 1991 when this shit dropped, there were still hip hop albums that had come out prior that showed off better production like De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising, It Takes a Million to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy and a personal favorite Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys. I find this kind of ironic, since Doom eventually became a rapper that is often associated with amazing production, like on The Mouse and the Mask, Madvilliany andOperation Doomsday.
All in all this is a great first album. It shows Doom’s abilities and that he had them from such a young age, being around 19 and 20 when this was recorded. It is a solid freshman, for sure.