McCain/DOOM 09?

He talk to himself when he need someone to hate on

the black McCain campaign negative debate-a-thon

-DOOM, More Rhymin’

“No doubt,” says the father and admitted McCain voter. “If something ends, then something’s gonna start. So it’s like, what side are you on? Do you feel like your world is ending? Or do you feel like, ‘Wow, it seems like that’s ending and it’s the start of something new.’”

-DOOM, interview with Rolling Stone 

We (and by we here I mean I) tend to assume that the artists we like share certain basic political views, even though it’s often not the case.  I was certainly surprised to see DOOM shouting out John McCain-I think that, aside from Jeezy’s brief flirtation, which he quickly disavowed and atoned for, it’s the only instance of a major rapper announcing support for McCain.  But all this has been covered in a variety of places, a while ago, and I’m not that interested in the “did he really mean it?” or “how could he?” questions.  Rather, as Born Like This has been slowly burrowing into my subconscious, resonating more deeply with each listen, I’ve been thinking about how DOOM’s McCain endorsement, sincere or not, informs the album. It seems fitting to me that an album so far (and so willfully) removed from the current rap zeitgeist would reject the biggest consensus figure in hip-hop right now.  While most rappers want to be compared to Obama right now, the narrative DOOM has constructed around his career is a lot closer to McCain’s life story than his opponent’s.  It doesn’t seem too far of a stretch to me to equate DOOM’s years of stewing in obscurity in between the death of Sub-Roc and the release of Operation: Doomsday with McCain’s time as a POW, if not in magnitude then at least in function.  This is not to say that the two of them underwent the same thing, merely that these periods of disappearance occupy a similar place in each one’s career.  Obama is the ultimate status symbol, upward mobility taken to the highest possible end; he’s also a model of crossover appeal, one that seems to have been anticipated by the early success of Kanye and duly noted by Kanye’s would-be successors. None of these trends have much to do with DOOM though.  His music, especially on Born Like This, is a lot more negative than the cartoon samples and nerd friendly costumes would imply. Doesn’t it make sense that DOOM would identify with a guy who basically ran as the Count of Monte Cristo, with a campaign built on resentment and ill will? So if you haven’t heard the album yet, take some time to listen to it, it’s pretty great, and all the more so when you don’t have to live through the corresponding administration.

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