Skits can make or break a hip-hop record. Think of the excellence of Method Man on 36 Chambers to the cheesiness of Ras Baraka on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. NehuvianDOOM - a collaboration between the enigmatic legend MF Doom and up-and-coming emcee Bishop Nehru - falls into the latter category, but with less of the charm.

The album begins with a lengthy skit. Then, there’s a few tracks - which, to be sure, are excellent in terms of golden-age production and Nas-idolizing rhyming - concluding with rambling exits. It’s emblematic of the album. While NehuvianDOOM exudes quality that Joey Bada$$ fans will value, it feels rushed with too much filler for such a potentially epic combo.

Hooks are sung by people unqualified for such tasks. Both Nehru and DOOM can deliver layered bars for days, but much more is needed to solidify the duo’s status in the age of Run the Jewels.

Published in Volume 69, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2014)

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