“Just a few jewels hidden in plain sight” –
— DOOM – “Great Things”
The act of prophecy is seen as a pre-hype welcome for the coming of a mystery god. A mystery that never arrives…Now meditate on it a little more and it’s been a select—selected if you still waiting for mystery—man with a minimalizing message for a vital moment. To tell an era that has degenerated into excess worship, mysterious idols and extreme savagery to rid it all. With a self-styled wisdom that draws the following flocks into the flux of his freeing flow of soon-featured finality, he gets them ready for the coming of the true and living. In real life, the prophets smash idols and rid themselves of jewels and in some way proclaim the scientifically bound truth of man—that the Original man, again and again—is God, the supreme being. “Look within,” “Rid yourself of your ego (who you think you are),” And “See how the mind drives the reality as the ox draws the cart.” But who will walk the Pada of the Dhamma?
Still lost today, mala beads break off bands, ankhs are remarketed as crosses and my 5% Nation of Gods and Earths Universal Flag is worn by elect jay birds waiting for messengers on spaceships. Messages have been sent, prophets have smashed and still prophecy seeks a better edutainment for the blind, deaf and dumb…again and again. We awaited the songs filled with Hip Hop’s non-didactic countercultural integrity- true Art. A motherfucking product that even when we buy it defunds the matrix. So we preached of the sincerity Metal Fingers Doom had.
It began with his refusal to show his face. It immediately huddled the wigger gentrifying mass niche thinking it advocated music’s colorlessness. Prophecies misunderstood. Music is as unseen as paintings are unheard. They are focused expressions of the mind to a particular sense. The mind is real and the Original Black/Brown mind of endless brothers making it make it the Blackest thing you can create. Listening right nigga, Black music is the Original peoples’ unique manifestations of more than chains and bars, deeper than slavery and prisons. It’s a holistic mastery of the drum as a break and now, with Hip Hop, a word. The word like a yogi’s om vibrating through chakras via the necklaced ankh amidst the indigenous dream dance cipher. And DOOM, in this cheaper, frivolous time we expected and received psalms in evangelizing nonsequiturs from Doom. All praises due.
Continuing the prophecy of Doom was the impending one that became the 00’s—the initial destructive decade to recorded Hip Hop music. During these 00’s, the underground’s best could only bite Pun techs and the commercial music morphed into the sound of the streets. Doom’s catalog, under many aliases from the original MF Doom to King Geedorah to Viktor Vaughn to Madvillain guttered and blackened Hip Hop back. The work of Metal Fingers Doom was a prophet smashing the idols of tracks that led listeners away from the heart of a break and chopped sample. He eschewed the purity of the writer of ideas, filling verses with more words of potential study via endless references and immense cleverness of content to make intelligence rugged again. And he constantly deleted the spaces in his bars with more layered internal vignettes, scratched out choruses of conformity all for the one visual phrase. By the end of 09, the Born Like This LP completed a classic run begun with Doomsday and it seemed he was the rhinestone cowboy we’ll find on the grind sometime again…
The prophecy was real and the Metal Fingers catalog is the way to work lyricism and grimy sampled production. Here the prophet is the true and living and still the music falls and falls and the culture is more forgotten. So now the Son of Man teaches a powerful young MC, Bishop Nehru, who has the skill sets and developing content to be the Man. Doom’s only other LP this decade is also a collaboration, 2012’s Keys to the Kuffs, that was not heavy in verse quantity but extremely concentrated and direct in lyrical insight (i.e. “GMO” on genetically modified organisms, “Guv’nor,” a classic metaphoric battle verse via the oppressor, “Winter Blues” on the beautifully melanated Original woman and “Wash Your Hands” on personal hygiene). With NehruvianDOOM, DOOM produces a forum for the young prodigy, Bishop Nehru, that is a subtle work of illness that serves as a short official intro to Nehru while it confirms DOOM as a working legend.
Prophets become the stars of religion and Metal Fingers ain’t different. The critiques have validity. It is really just five minutes longer than an EP. Doom verses are ill but more bars and interplay with Nehru was an undone option. And the beats Doom provides are strong yet expected and could fit in any of the Special Herbs instrumental volumes. What is left out of the religion of critique is the analysis of the way of life. The album is a real constructed work where an elder great gives a forum to a young apprentice who was just 8 years old at the peak of Doom’s reign. Nehru has experienced the depth of the work of his mentor as a crate. This album then marks something unique in Hip Hop that sets a precedent. Something that ought to be in this music where the culture is handed down as a preserved tradition with the possibilities of greater innovation. Hip Hop as an Art culture like Jazz back to Blues and Salsa back to Son and all of them back to counter culturing a revolution to mental rejuvenation.
The excitement of religion is all in the wait. The glory of reality is that everything is everything and this everything is happening now. Bishop Nehru is an MC who is still developing the character that reveals his intentions the most. For now, he has the skill to express that process happening. From “So Alone” (They calling me the newest teen prodigy now/Sixteen with big dreams, the world’s finally found/The next guy to be crowned/Still I frown because I’m drowning in stress/The amount I’ve allowed to devour my chest…”) to “Darkness” (This life is like a mystery, look how the worlds sent to me/Today I’m in the industry, next I’m ended history/Physically won’t allow it, my mental is not a coward…”), Bishop uses every next bar to therapy himself. Eventually his worries become a clear mission on “Great Things” (“I’m hoping I don’t grow old before I show the whole globe/What I know and what I’ve seen/Plus who I plan to be…”). The proofs of confidence are best heard on the hardest track to verse on—after DOOM dominates the opening verse of “Caskets.” Doom excels with comedic and obscure references (“You get another never ending of the saga/And how he gets it in like Kamagra,” “Villain get payed laid back like chacmool/Enough to make Pac drool”) and clever word choices (i.e. “it’s like a woola do to the medulla oblongata”) with his definitive rolling flow with few spaces and constant internal rhyming that cause the signature breathless layering. Nehru follows with extended bars that absolutely match in flow and technical complexity (“I’m moving with the all black tactic/black kicks/black jeans/black jacket matching…”) and offers his progress toward MC enlightenment (“They told me I should focus on scholastics/And others told me focus on elastic/I’m using both of those as a tactic/As I mix it with my passion for the rappin’/To think I could have been trappin’/I’m happy I wasn’t trapped in/The loop de loop and shootin’/I’m moving through the mind pollution/tryna find solution…”). Nehru’s strongest efforts are in matching Doom as on “Om” where his introspection is dynamically detailed.
Nehru’s content is a personal content and here its focused on his calling and handling stress. For these themes, Doom’s production is well suited. Just as Large Professor’s work on Cormega’s Mega Philosophy, the beats intend to propel the MC as opposed to feature themselves. The soothing peering horns on “So Alone” through a booming bass drum. The tough stomping clap snare and the tinkling keys of “Coming For You” score the supreme art work of the LP cover and inserts. The rolled and clipped drum work on “Great Things” and reverberating funk guitars lead the triumphant concepts. The major flaw is that the production is exactly in the mid-range Doom comfortably excels at where more technical acrobatics should have been forced out of Nehru. With some more of the varied tempos and experimental musical ideas Doom has made for himself or rapped over with Madlib or as Viktor Vaughn, Nehru could only further develop himself.
Nehru is an MC with the rare opportunity to work with legends (i.e. Doom, Nas) that are from an earlier generation, still in the midst of their supreme catalogs. His expectations will always be a burden but if he properly doesn’t give a fuck and cares only to develop and share the best of his expressiveness this NehruvianDOOM will be a small work. A small rugged lyric work that will grow in importance in the way our musicians guide the next generation. This is a blueprint for Hip Hop MC apprenticeship that ought to be studied after it is enjoyed. And let the Son of Man be the rebirth of the mind so the son can become the Man himself and guide his own Son of Man one day. So that the messages of the prophet are delivered by the Almighty, himself, live and directly.
“My ascencion/got my visions/ in a different space/Divine grace/wise in a high state”
— Bishop Nehru – “Om”