When Three Beans are Worth Three Cows

Villain man never ran with crills in his hand

and won't stop rocking 'til he clocked in a gazzillion grand

Such goes the best hip-hop song of the year; such goes what happens when two of my favorite artists from seemingly different genres collaborate. When I first heard Gazzillion Ear by Doom as remixed by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, it was the first time in a long stretch that I was genuinely jealous of another artist. What Yorke produced for Villain was new and dark, it seduced and left room for seduction. That is, it held its own but only when you hear Doom's baritone drunk flow over it do you realize that the beat was indeed missing something. That something was the mind of "a real weirdo with a bugged rare flow and the way his hair grow--ugly as a scarecrow," as Doom himself offers as a self-portrait.

The Man in the Iron Mask

The way Doom rhymes should not be possible. There is some law being defied in this performance. His words just dribble out and yet it isn't drivel, if he has a speech impediment it doesn't impair his articulation, which it should by definition. Even when on a song like Gazzillion Ear remix, where Doom is delivering a moderately fast paced flow, its through such an ironic voice that he, pardon the cliche, makes it sound so easy. Its as if he's possessed, or as if its the most natural and possibly most inconvenient thing in the world to rhyme. He sounds sinister, yes but he also, does he not, sound bored and unimpressed. Doom's flow practically looks you right in your astonished eyes and asks, "is this suppose to be difficult?"

Don't look now, keep walking

traded three beans for this cow, cheap talking

The Kid with Treefingers

Thom Yorke creates for Doom, a dark, eerie ghost of a beat. The high hats are angry, like the teeth on a typewriter biting letters onto aluminum foil; they were the first thing I noticed in the song right before Doom starts spitting. A good portion into Doom's marathon of self-assured verbiage, Thom adds hummed harmonies that float and billow out, fog-like, covering the track in an ambivalent mist.

Alone, that is, sans Doom's vocals, Gazzillion Ear remix could have easily been mistaken for a b-side to Yorke's Eraser compositions. Snuggled warmly up against A Rat's Nest and Jetstream; button drums that minimally pop, wailing phantasms, and dark tones, each collectively inspiring an apprehension or paranoia.

One man's waste is another man's soap

Son's fan based on a brother man's dope

Essentially just a song about success and not having to compromise as a condition to notoriety. But Doom makes use of of a wide variety of references from wrestler, Jake the Snake to the recent, Hadron Particle Collider, in a four verse remix that has no hook or chorus and yet maintains within it, a sense of urgency throughout Doom's approximate 96 bars; and Yorke marvelously keeps the beat simple with subtle changes and shifts that conjure some sort of LSD journey while the Villain layers his lines like tetris blocks. Mind you, he's not impressed.

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