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Apparently, God was fed up with hip-hop in 2003 and divinely inspired Daniel Dumile-then known as MF Doom-to team up with a team of kick-ass producers and create one of the most exciting, hard-hitting, and thoroughly satisfying underground hip-hop albums of all time: Vaudeville Villain. And the sad thing is, this album may never be deservingly recognized as an all time hip-hop classic. This album is mostly overshadowed by Doom's most celebrated release, Madvillainy, which came out the following year and hogged the spotlight, leaving Villain mostly forgotten, and now out of print. This is a shame, because this is the album where (in my opinion) Doom's potential was fully realized. His low, monotonous and gritty flow was perfected here. His flow is not too tight or too loose, it's somewhere in the middle, which separates Doom from the exceptionally tight and technical rappers while simultaneously keeping him very far away from mediocre rappers who have loose (okay, sloppy) flows lacking in technique. Doom also comes into full bloom as a lyricist, delivering esoteric oddball lyrics in multiple-syllable rhyme schemes that, thankfully, don't wallow in tired and cliche hip-hop subjects like bitches, bling, and weed. He has been called one of hip-hop's "most treasured lyricists" and Doom lives up to that praise on this album which is full of lyrical goodness. As potent as Doom is, the star of the show is the instrumentals, concocted by producers like Max Bill and King Honey, which are absolutely lethal. Trust me when I say these beats are some of the most creative, exciting, powerful, complex, and downright masterful ever heard in the history of hip-hop. If you're a metalhead like me, you will have much to appreciate in these dark, multi-layered beats, and if you listen to this album with good headphones, you'll notice all the little nuances and be in disbelief as to how these guys packed so much substance into these songs. There are two "open mic night" tracks where guest rappers (including Rodan and Louis Logic) spit 45 second verses, and even those short instrumentals are mini-masterpieces. As outstanding as the production is, it still doesn't overshadow Doom as the head of the project. His personality brightly shines through, which is impressive, and if you have heard the aforementioned Madvillainy which has production that's worlds apart from Villain, it's still the same old Doom doing his thing and doing a damn fine job at it. This album is a triumph of true hip-hop and deserves the highest praise for it's creativity as well as it's brute force. I'll give this album a super duper He-Man strong robot unicorn awesome 10 out of 10 without hesitation. Pick this beast up, it is truly hip-hop gold and it may work it's way up to the top of you're hip-hop collection.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.