JJ DOOM (jneiro jarel + mf doom) - key to the kuffs (full album stream)
jneiro jarel is one of my five favorite producers alive (probably the most underrated), and doom is quite possibly my favorite modern rapper, so i was absolutely thrilled to read about this collaboration, first by means of a single track, then eventually a full LP announcement. they first worked together on the song ‘let’s go,' off JJ's 2007's project with shape of broad minds, craft of the lost art. for anyone unfamiliar with his work, jneiro jarel is like madlib in a whole bunch of ways, between his multiple aliases, appreciation of world music (they’ve both released brazilian-themed albums), psychedelic tendencies, occasional projects with rappers, and the evident sense that neither can stand to musically be stuck in one place for too long.
much like madvillainy, this is far from being an immediately accessible album, with choppy and whimsical twists throughout, but it’s clear that future listens will reveal a wealth of depth and deliberate refinement from a conceptual standpoint. key to the kuffs is endearingly sporadic and unapologetically propulsive, with experimental hip-hop frequently being interrupted by absurd samples and references to england and its culture. on that note, special guests include some very notable brits, including thom yorke, damon albarn, and beth gibbons of portishead. i’ve already listened through it two or three times and still feel like i missed 75% of what’s going on here. this interview DOOM did with the guardian.uk site today provides a little insight, but these guys are so distinctly next level, it’s definitely going to take some climbing to catch up and get even remotely close to where they’re at. whether that happens by means of intellectual dissection or a blunt and some actual concentration is up to you, but you’ll quickly find that your search won’t be in vain. this might wind up being one of the highlights of 2012’s musical offerings.