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MF Doom at Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, IL)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

With DOOM’s less than stellar reputation for being prompt to his live performances (or for showing up at all, for that matter), running 10 or 15 minutes late is practically like DOOM showed up early; which is exactly what he did. (Rumors later ranged from the believable: sound problems—which is how it appeared from the crowd—to the slightly outrageous: DOOM demanded to be paid before going on stage.) Following the late (early) start, DOOM followed his massive hype-man Big Benn Kling-on on stage as the duo immediately started ripping into bars from “Hoe Cakes,” from his 2004 release MM..Food. Next up was “Rhymes Like Dimes” from the emcee’s 1999 debut solo album, Operation: Doomsday.

I’ve historically enjoyed DOOM most on his collaborative efforts with Madlib and Danger Mouse, and this set did little to change my mind as “Curls,” from Madvillain’s Madvillainy, and “Benzie Box,” from Danger Doom’s The Mouse and the Mask, were two of my favorites from the performance. While later being introduced as King Geedorah (the alias under which DOOM released his 2003 album Take Me To Your Leader), to the best of my recollection the emcee didn’t dip into the album; he did touch on his Viktor Vaughn persona however, as he later dove into “Change The Beat” from 2003’s Vaudeville Villain. Throughout the set DOOM also tore into “All Caps,” “Beef Rap,” and “Gazzillion Ear,” the last of which is from this year’s Born Like This, the emcee’s first record since dumping the MF Doom moniker. Stepping off stage while Big Benn continued to hype the crowd, DOOM eventually returned and closed out the set with “Kon Queso,” again from MM..Food, which found the crowd energetically bouncing in unison. And just like that, everything was over: it was a crisp set with little nonsense whatsoever. I’m not sure if anyone was expecting to walk away from the performance praising DOOM for his professionalism, but surprisingly, I now find myself doing exactly that.