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Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain (Cover Artwork)

Viktor Vaughn

Viktor Vaughn: Vaudeville VillainVaudeville Villain (2003)
Sound Ink / Traffic Entertainm

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: tristris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"Twist the green, it's laced with antihistamine Enough to make you make your face like Mr. Bean V hit the scene like: 'Fuck it, give me a Mr. Clean!'" A year ago, it was completely unthinkable that a hip-hop record could become my new favourite album. If you'd have told me such I'd probably hav.
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"Twist the green, it's laced with antihistamine
Enough to make you make your face like Mr. Bean
V hit the scene like: 'Fuck it, give me a Mr. Clean!'"

A year ago, it was completely unthinkable that a hip-hop record could become my new favourite album. If you'd have told me such I'd probably have heaved with laughter before returning to the trusty chords of my favourite 'org' albums. But time makes fools of us all and, before I knew it, Daniel Dumile (a.k.a. MF DOOM, a.k.a Viktor Vaughn) had sucked me into a world full of obscure cartoon samples, quirky, dark rhymes and futuristic, menacing beats.
"It's like limbo
how low can you go
V go lower than your bimbo pantyhose
Damn yo...I say that's pretty damn low!"

Vaudeville Villain follows a kind of rough story--Viktor, a time-travelling, drug-dealing MC voyages between the various eras of hip-hop, with one of the final songs (the spectacular "Never Dead," featuring a captivating guest spot by M Sayidd) revealing how his journey began. DOOM's flow is exemplary throughout--his rapidly degrading voice perfectly complements the electronica-inspired beats, spitting out genius one-liners that reward repeat listens. There are no conventional samples used, no bullshit R&B-esque choruses and none of the boneheaded macho posturing that plagues mainstream hip-hop--just a dizzying, stream-of-consciousness narrative that brilliantly subverts hip-hop conventions. Take "The Drop"--in between verses that reference everything from Star Trek to Canadian martial arts actor Jorgito Vargas, DOOM skewers the dog-eat-dog banality of modern hip-hop:
"I'm joking on the fact that hip-hop has gone freak show
don't let the drama getcha
in the only genre of music where the fans shoot the messenger
bitch niggaz talk behind ya back like a catcher
either M-Y-O-B or B-Y-O stretcher"

This same attitude reappears on "Saliva":
"A lot of crews like to act like a violent mob
They really need to just shut the fuck up like Silent Bob"

"Modern Day Mugging" is another brilliant subversion of hip-hop archetypes. DOOM takes the tired scenario of mugging a clichéd ghetto and turns it into, well, the farce that such a scene blatantly is. DOOM's hilariously flawed character boasts of a gun with "no bullets, no clip" before getting shot by one of his planned victims--claiming in the end that "I woulda let her have it if I had the ammo!"

Of course, DOOM's flow is only half the reason I love this album so much--credit needs to go to the captivating production courtesy of RJD2, King Honey, Heat Sensor, Max Bill, et. al. The multi-producer approach works in the album's favour, ensuring every song sounds fresh and unique in its own right. RJD2 easily trumps his work on Deadringer with "Lickupon," a gritty, surreal beat coupled with subtle horn samples. Elsewhere, King Honey peppers "Mr. Clean" with dope Mr. Lif-style scratching, a playful old-school touch to a deliberately futuristic track.
"There's four sides to every story
if these walls could talk they'd probably still ignore me
contemplate war over a cuppa warm coffee
it's really getting gory, tell your problems to Maury"

I can't praise this album enough. It singlehandedly got me into hip-hop and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone--be they hip-hop heads, DOOM fans, DOOM n00bs or people who feel left out of the last five years of hip-hop, "Fiddy" Cent and all.

Recommended downloads: "Never Dead," "Lactose and Lecithin," "A Dead Mouse," "Lickupon," "Change the Beat (hidden track)"

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
None More Black - This Is SatireLagwagon - BlazeSundowner - We Chase the WavesNone More Black - File Under BlackTony Sly - Sad BearNone More Black - IconsCirca Survive - Blue Sky NoiseConverge - All We Love We Leave BehindThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundPolar Bear Club - The Summer of George [7 inch]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
phillipick (June 6, 2010)

Great review by the way!

phillipick (June 6, 2010)

"He used to get straight As
Nowadays get way paid is the pet phrase
Set the stage, preferably night times
Daylights reserved for research and writin' rhymes"

Terrible lyrics? Terrible album? More like a terrible attempt at an 'org ego.

V. Vaughn is my favorite DOOM alias. This is the greatest hip hop album of all time that you haven't heard. Rappers like Jay Z and Wayne wish they had half of DOOM's skill and wordplay magic. With that said, even great MCs wish they had his skill. The man truly rhymes in code. I'm serious, since I started listening to DOOM (and other alter egos), I've been spoiled by his style, and no other hip hop artist compares. He's just one of those artists you can't hate because he is everything that an amazing artist embodies. Yeah..I'm swingin', so what.

defianceohioequalslove (June 5, 2010)

I haven't heard this yet, but I love this dude, and completely agree that judging him by little lyric samples is stupid.

blanktapesemptybottles (June 5, 2010)

you need to actually listen to DOOM not read small clips of his lyrics, he has some really intelligent shit and some really funny quips, yeah he's a little more mainstream sounding than most underground hip hop, but he rips shit and makes really enjoyable albums

XchinatownX (June 4, 2010)

That's because I've rated so few of them that even my 1/2 star rating qualifies it as one of my faves.

leecorsoisapenis (June 4, 2010)

xChinatownx, you have this listed as one of your favorite albums.

XchinatownX (June 4, 2010)

Terrible lyrics, terrible genre, terrible album.

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