Music News

Danger Doom

Is this CD the first rap infomercial? Does it take musical product placement to a new extreme? And if so, is that bad? The answer to each of these questions leans toward "yes." Nevertheless, this joint effort by Danger Mouse and MF Doom, two of hip-hop's quirkiest experimentalists, is also highly entertaining -- which, in some ways, makes the disc even more treacherous.

Mask is co-sponsored by Cartoon Network and incorporates characters from "Adult Swim," a programming block built upon the likes of The Brak Show. This approach makes for some odd bedfellows, including the "Old School" pairing of Talib Kweli and voices from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Fortunately, the men of Danger Doom don't let Space Ghost and company dominate the proceedings. Instead, the animated guests are used as zany sonic flavor for "Vats of Urine" and other examples of beat-driven absurdity.

Clearly, the Doomsters make the most of their corporate payday. But if the project convinces labels to release, say, a duet album featuring Cierra and the Snuggle bear, they'll have a lot to answer for.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts