Verbal dexterity and off-kilter operatics
“‘Ere! Wot you got that mask on for?!” goes the sample on opener ‘Waterlogged’. DOOM’s moved to Blighty, you see, and built a nest in south London. But musically, aside from a few dropped aitches, you’d struggle to hear the shift. ‘Key To The Kuffs’ is the masked man’s regular shtick: the sound of a decade’s record-buying sprinkled across the productions of the alt-hip-hop craftsman de jour (Jneiro Jarel is to this what Danger Mouse was to the Danger Doom project and Madlib to Madvillain). The result is excellence as usual, with DOOM rumbling along between sinister and silly while JJ slings in off-kilter operatics. An understated guest appearance from Damon Albarn on ‘Bite The Thong’ paired with Rhymin Slang’s growling chant of “Cahkney rhaming slang” suggests DOOM’s eager to remind us where he’s at geographically, but his blend of verbal dexterity, oddball subject matter and contempt for a below average rap would feel at home anywhere.