Greetings True Believers, This issue’s opening scene is set in an undisclosed and unassuming location which serves as the secret hideout for one of the most feared, yet most respected super-villians… the man known only as Doom. “Known” in this case is extremely vague at best. For who truly knows what lurks behind those eyes which pierce thru from beneath that metal face? Yes, another masked man. The history of the masked man is as uncertain as it is legendary. The legacy of Doom is no different. What purpose does the mask serve; does it hide the otherwise visable scars of pain? is it an escape from wrong doings of the past? or does its presence mark the setting of conquest for the future?
One thing is for certain and that is it’s no mystery that Hip Hop is not a safe-ground for second chances. They are few and far between….nearly non-existent. However, Doom is indeed a product of rarity. The world was first familarized with him as the mild-mannered Zev Love X of the group K.M.D. Zev’s personal entrance into the business was the result of the helping hands of Third Bass who let him shine on “The Gas Face” from their debut ’89 album. Not long after, K.M.D dropped a few top notch singles and a well received album entitled “Mr. Hood” on Elektra in ’91. Following the success of that, K.M.D was further preparing to establish themselves as the “Kause of Much Damage” onto the industry… Unfortunately, tragedy struck both musically and personally. First, one of the lead MCs, Onyx, left the group leaving the weight on the remaining two, who happened to be brothers; Zev Love X & Subroc. Then K.M.D’s second album,”Black Bastards” suffered delays due to the label being unaccepting of their artwork which was a twist on their logo; a “x” out sign over the sambo character which had long been used as a premier negative portrayal of black people, particularly in entertainment. K.M.D lost the fight to maintain the use of the character and the cover although the context of the character as a logo was obviously an attempt to destroy this perception , initiate a healing process, and most importantly relay a more positive and accurate depiction of black people. Regardless, the ending result was the label opting to drop the project and the group itself off the label. Amiss all of this choas tragedy struck again only this time much closer to home as Zev’s brother, Subroc, was struck by a car and returned to the essence…
Time off was needed and taken. Internal evolutions occurred. Musical mutations took place. The mask was forged and donned then finally in ’97 Zev resurfaced, but now the monkier was DOOM! Indeed much had changed…..then again maybe not so much. Perhaps the previous events only accelerated that which would have been an eventual natural metamorphisis. No one can ever really be certain. What we do know is that Doom’s approach to music is what defines such phrases as, “the fine line between insanity and genius”. Unconventional. Abstract. Unorothodox. These words merely scrape the surface of the layer of grain he goes against; musically, conceptually and let us not forget rhythmically. As if to mock the standards of musical timing his vocal patterns take shape and words land upon the drums in the same manner that a rock is skipped great distances across a lake; skillfully, constant yet erratic, and without a hint of when it will come to an end.
Behind the boards and sampler things aren’t much different. Doom has long abandoned the rules of what is supposedly allowed or forbidden; 80’s R&B hits, rap classics, afternoon cartoon favorites…all are suitable prey for the hands of Doom. All to often such creativity breeds inferior imitations, but in all honesty I seriously doubt that Doom has much to trouble himself with in this realm. In a somewhat ironic twist, this could be viewed reminiscent of The Mighty Thor (one of many who attempted to foil Doom’s comic book counterpart) and his legendary hammer which could only be lifted by those deemed equally worthy. Doom’s style seems unfit for any would be clones.