John's Track of the Week: "Old School Rules"

Song: Old School Rules
Artist: Danger Doom
Album: The Mouse and The Mask
Year: 2005

Here it is, as promised: Last week, when I reviewed Mos Def's newest effort, The Ecstatic, I mentioned that parts of it reminded me of Danger Doom. This then got me thinking about, and listening to, one of my favorite hip hop albums ever, The Mouse and The Mask. Not sure what it is about the 2005 record that draws me in. Maybe it's the playful nature of the whole thing. Could be the fun and interesting beats. It also might be the fact that the artist formerly known as MF Doom is on his game from a rap standpoint, and flows perfectly with Danger Mouse's efforts. If anyone reading is into indie hip hop and has not heard this album (unlikely, I know), I implore you to find it immediately. Even for those who may not consider themselves fans of this brand of hip hop, get it. You might enjoy it. You might even thank me for recommending it to you.

Out of all of the excellent tracks on The Mouse and the Mask, to me, the best is "Old School Rules". Constructed in a throwback style, the horn-based beat in the background has you thinking about the simplicity and nostalgia associated with early-90s rap. It's even party playlist material (or at least it is to me). It's not the flow here that makes this song great, but rather, the comfort level. The song just naturally progresses- nothing forced or unncessary. It also reminds me of when I used to play NBA Hangtime with my friends in my freshman year of college, which also makes it endearing. Like I said, if you haven't heard it, check it out. Really. You have to.

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