What a few months it’s been in the ongoing, unpredictable saga that is DOOM’s career. Back in August, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim branch announced that they’d be rolling out twelve unreleased tracks by the elusive and often-frustrating masked rapper. Awesome cuts featuring Sean Price and Jay Electronica, respectively, soon followed. But then about a month later, just five songs into the rollout, Adult Swim head Jason DeMarco shared the news that the rapper had cut ties with the network, and all previous tracks in the series were deleted. What, you thought DOOM’s first solo release since 2009 would arrive without any commotion?
What DOOM has been consistent about in the eight years since, though, is collaborative releases. His only two full-lengths in that span of time have been with Jneiro Jarel as JJ DOOM and Bishop Nehru as NehruvianDOOM. He seems to have a thing for locking in with lesser-known kindred spirits in the studio. So while Adult Swim’s Missing Notebook Rhymes project bit the dust, we’re lucky that DOOM already had his next release in the works.
His partner-in-crime this time around is Westside Gunn, a sneering boom bap champion from Buffalo who sounds like a mix between AZ and Ghostface Killah. Just before the whole Adult Swim situation imploded, Gunn announced that he and DOOM had completed work on “one of the illest projects I’ve ever heard,” and the SAME EXACT DAY that DeMarco broke the bad news, the first WESTSIDE GUNN track surfaced. “Gorilla Monsoon” is a lurching, queasy, Daringer-produced track that sounds like a more straightforward version of DOOM’s classic “Tick, Tick…,” which is just what the doctor ordered. Given DOOM’s recent behavior, we weren’t counting on another track seeing the light of day, but it’s here, and it’s even better.
“2STINGS” was produced by the legendary Alchemist, and it features a well-balanced palette of ominous oboe, twinkling xylophone, and creepy sci-fi synths and strings. Again, it’s exactly what we want from these two gifted lyricists: no hook, tag-teaming bars, and lyrics about “playing paddle ball on adderall.” Let’s hope there is in fact more to come from this duo.
“2STINGS” is available for free download here.