The latest Frank 151 book, curated by DOOM, is out now. Pick up your copy free in selected stores and via Lex online shop internationally. We’ve got plenty in stock – pay only for postage (free with orders over £20/$29 / €25). Also available by subscription. Preview excerpt from Frank 151 interview with DOOM here:
Photo by Will Skeaping at Lex
Frank151: We heard Banished from the new JJ DOOM album with Jneiro Jarel, KEY TO THE KUFFS. Are there any surprise collabos on that album, or on any of the other albums you’re getting ready to release?
DOOM: Some of them aren’t done yet, but the JJ DOOM one is pretty much wrapped up. My man from the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn — yeah, I did a song with them back like six or seven years ago and we been cool ever since. Just yesterday I bumped into him in a bike store. So it’s like a real close-knit community of musicians out here. Also Beth Gibbons from Portishead is on that joint. I love that song. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, they did a remix to a joint I did. It’s an interesting angle. I might have forgot somebody.
F151: On BANISHED you said, “VILLAIN got banished / Freezed out the US / And he ain’t even Spanish.” Can you elaborate on that?
D: I’m rhyming fast on that one —I say, “Refused out the US.” You know that’s how they say it in legal terms. You know how they messin’ with the Spanish people all the time. So really that line is about, I got my situation with these people, a little bit of red tape, but it ain’t nothin’.
F151: Another track I heard off JJ DOOM was GOV’NOR. It almost felt like that song is filled with school lessons. Like you’re teaching when you write.
D: I was always a fan of KRS, PE, and early on I was doing it a little, but now it just seems natural. I’m a father. I’m going to give advice to people in slick ways but still make it fun. I’m an uncle, so I think that’s how the character comes across. He’s friendly, but every once in a while he might talk your ear off. But he still cool.
F151: You’ve said that you add a female aspect to every album. I heard Winter Blues from the JJ DOOM album. Is that the VILLAIN singing on there?
D: Yeah, every once in a while he’ll bust into song. Tried to hit the high note. I think I caught it right. I love that song.
F151: What was the inspiration for that song?
D: It’s a two-prong approach I took on that one. It’s a love song for sure. It’s kind of like when you missing your wife, missing your children, missing your girl, anything that’s in your life that you miss at the time—your moms. It’s really based on the women in your life. And another point of view, it’s based on melanin. Everything has melanin. Even plants have chlorophyll; it’s like a cousin to melanin. Melanin you find in humans and animals. It’s what shields us from the sun and rejuvenates our cells so they don’t crack.
F151: Why is the album you did with Jneiro Jarel called KEY TO THE KUFFS?
D: Oh man. Interesting story. I don’t know if I can reveal that one yet. Basically KEY TO THE KUFFS is a mental thing, where the key is the mind. You get your mind right, you won’t have to be in no cuffs, no situations, oppression. You can easily get around that. It ain’t like a physical key, you know?
PREVIEW JJ DOOM ‘BANISHED’ FROM KEY TO THE KUFFS – 2012