Hello, and welcome back to Nerdshit! And this is the one where I lose like half of you, at least. After all, how the fuck is rap nerd shit. Well, a long time ago I used to follow a review group called the desudes brigade, and one of the reviewers there was jesuotaku. She was of the opinion that people should stop crossing anime with hip hop, because the hip hop kids were the ones who used to steal the anime kids’ lunch money. My opinion is even so, after they got done they were going to use it to go buy some manga and then go home and watch toonami and adult swim.
There is a whole genre of nerd rap, or Nerdcore, and while much of it is hit or miss, this album is clearly a hit. MF Doom is possibly the most gifted MC of all time, and with Danger Mouse handling the production the whole album is gold beginning to end. Chalk full of adult swim references and cartoon show samples, this is most definitely nerd shit. And it is glorious to behold.
If you are familiar with MF doom, the fact that this album is good should not surprise. For everyone else, this album is far, far more than good. Doom’s lyrical gymnastics impress as much as ever, and the cartoon wordplay hits home every single time. From space ho’s coast to coast to ATHF, just so many golden tracks to be had by all. The references range from Conan The Barbarian to Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, and many many more.
But it’s not just references, all of his other wordplay hits home as well. On the beat side, we have 80s and 90s danceable beats laced beginning to end with samples from Spaceghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and many others. Rap is only half the treat on this album.
If there is any complaint to have, and there’s not, it would be that there is not much being actually talked about other than cartoon references. Believe it or not, that matters to hip hop listeners, at least to many of them. Still, as a rapper myself, this is an album and an artist who have influenced my own work.
So, at the end of the day, the album is excellent, if not incredibly deep. It is definitely worth the time of any fan of 80s, 90s, and 00s cartoons, and anyone who enjoys adult swim, or hell, any sort of hip hop at all. I guess if giving Naruto a 6 didn’t get me murdered, nothing is going to. I give The Mouse and The Mask an 8.5 of 10. Have a wonderful day, and please don’t kill me.