KMD The Best of Kmd

Before MF Doom donned a metal mask or rhymed under a three-headed dragon alias, he went under the name Zevlove X and rolled with his brother Sub-Roc, giving sucker MCs the gas face as KMD. The crew only managed to drop two records before Sub-Roc’s death — Mr. Hood and Black Bastards — even though the second was shelved for a few years, allegedly due to offensive album artwork. A pair of records is hardly enough material for a true career retrospective, but with Doom all the rage these days, as well as a third KMD record apparently on the way, it was only a matter of time before someone rushed to release this previously slept-on catalogue. If you judge The Best of KMD solely on the material, then it’s stunning. Mr. Hood is an absolute classic, heavy with Sesame Street samples and an overall humorous theme at a time when it was okay to crack a smile in hip-hop. The "Mr. Hood Gets a Haircut” skit is still golden and "Peachfuzz” is officially a hip-hop classic. Black Bastards was rougher around the edges but created the foundation that Doom still rides to this day, using handfuls of samples and obscure instrumentation to give an often chilling vibe mixed with the jazz from KMD’s previous effort. Now if you judge this compilation for what it offers to a KMD fan, it fails quite miserably. If you own their two records then what you’re left with is a remix of "Nitty Gritty” featuring Busta Rhymes from his Leaders of the New School glory days as well as a previously unreleased cut called "Popcorn.” Both are quite good, as is the entire gathering of KMD goodies, but you’re much better off listening to the albums the way they were intended. (Nature Sounds)