Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #32 Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain
Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#32 Viktor Vaughn - Vaudeville Villain
When you’re an artist that takes on a new moniker with each new album, it’s pretty safe to assume that you do exactly whatever the hell it is that you want to do, and Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. MF DOOM, a.k.a. Metal Fingers, a.k.a. Metal Face (and so on) certainly embraces that mentality. No, it’s not the first time this concept has been attempted, and the obvious comparison is going to run with Kool Keith and his Dr. Octagon and weird-ass Black Elvis shit. But the difference is, Dumile’s style, production and flow don’t change, nor is there any kitchy theme that parallels each costume change. In fact, there really seems to be no rhyme or reason for the changes other than the clear indication that Dumile is going to do exactly what Dumile wants because he’s a hell of a lot cooler than any record label exec that’s going to sit in a meeting like “you know, I really like this stuff…but what’s with the mask shit?” And he’d be right, because seriously folks, what’s cooler than a rapper that spits bars of complete nonsense in a giant fucking metal mask like some crazy superhero trying to save the severely infected genre of hip-hop? Thought so.
Dumile took on his second persona as Viktor Vaughn on his second album (following MF DOOM: Operation Doomsday) Vaudeville Villain. Like Dumile’s other albums, the production is schizophrenic--with all the tracks coming from producers Heat Sensor, King Honey and Max Bill--and his lyrics are borderline hysterical. Check these lines on “Saliva”:
True victory, a new sick story/
Never met a chick that was too thick for me/
Holy Moses, my old earth know me closest/
On how I play the back and stay bent like scoliosis.
I can relate, as I’ve never met a chick that was too thick for me either—well said Vaughn. The album is chock full of incredible one liners, quick wit puns and plays on words that will have you asking yourself, “what the fuck did he just say?” and hitting rewind three or four times. It’s the album that keeps on giving as every time you listen to it, you pick up on some new little detail or nuance in the production or the vocal flow. Good value.
Other standout tracks are “Lickupon”, “Let Me Watch” (an incredible rap duet with Apani B.), and “Vaudeville Villain”, a hard-rock banger with more layers than a 90’s Seattle grunge rocker and contains possibly one of the funniest lines since Eddie Murphy’s Delirious:
Viktor the director, flip a script like Rob Reiner/
The way a lotta dudes rhyme, they name should be ‘knob shiner’/
For a buck they likely dance the jig or do the hucklebuck/
To Vic, it’s no big deal, they just a buncha knucle fucks.
Genius shit, son.
- Jason Bow
Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.