Neil Drumming
July 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Vaudeville Villain

Current Status
In Season
Viktor Vaughn

We gave it an A

Of course jaded music critics love MF Doom (a.k.a. Zev Luv X, a.k.a. King Geedorah, a.k.a. VIKTOR VAUGHN). They fancy the indie rapper’s geek-like-me lyrics (a melange of references to monster movies, Marvel comics, and TV) to be a refreshing alternative to hip-hop’s thug-laden vocabulary. They like to imagine that by becoming Vaughn, an evil scientist from the future who sporadically slips into third person to narrate his own outlandish adventures, Doom is turning the rapper-as-bad-guy persona on its baguette-studded ear. Ooh, and you can bet your average beat academic will drool over the eerie, droning, sci-fi-scented funk of VAUDEVILLE VILLAIN (Sound-Ink). But really, who cares? What matters is punchlines; pound for pound, Vaughn is googols funnier than any roughneck radio phony. Just let him tell it: ”A lot of crews like to act like a violent mob/They really need to just shut the f — – up like Silent Bob.”

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