Collaborations are a beautiful thing, when two of your favourite artists decide to team up, but it’s not often the artists collaborating have such a drastic age difference. MF Doom, the magnificent, masked, menace has unrivalled experience, having arrived on the scene way back in ’88. In some respects his decision to collaborate with such a young artist is as surprising as it is refreshing. But Bishop Nehru’s short career to date cannot go unnoticed. Since the age of 14 he’s been making his own jazzy beats, and at 18, his bucket list is already being ticked off, finding himself joined with Doom, one of Nehru’s self professed biggest idols.
NehruvianDOOM is born, and immediately Doom’s fantasy, superhero-esque dialogue is in evidence on the first track, Intro. With bustling, background noises and and an 80’s infused, funky melody, it is established that Bishop Nehru and MF Doom are setting themselves up to save the day. Snippets of dialogue are scattered throughout the album, the prologue to the second track, ‘Om’, establishes the subject of the track, instantly diverting your mind to a meditative state, awaiting the distorted melody to infect your ears. Nehru’s flow is impressive, and his youthful voice is practically jubilant, offering a sort of nonchalant swagger that reflects on the listener. The sinister backing is both infectious and obscure, but with Doom’s hook stating that something’s ‘more funner than a clown with a gun’, it’s alarming and immediate how (un)meditated, yet brilliant this track is.
‘Mean The Most’ slyly drops into a more seductive vibe, with MF Doom’s prowess shining bright. His beats are smothered in his own sound, whilst Nehru mesmerises us with his lithe charm. The ‘old skool’ beat is entwined beautifully with Bishop Nehru’s vocals, and even after the first listen the chorus will be ingrained for both it catchiness and palpable danceability. Conversely ‘Coming For You’, with its warped and trippy backtrack, instantly throws the listener off track. Then again unpredictability is such a large part of this album. Bishop Nehru is still young, but the guile and dexterity of this record, and Doom’s production, allows this youthfulness clarity and focused innovation. In the same stroke it also facilitates a playfulness, with deft light touches throughout such as the wooden xylophone sounds reminiscent of Nintendo 64’s Banjo and Kazooie.
It is enlightening to see a collaboration this strong find its strength in a middle ground between both of its individual components. MF Doom has long proved his reputation, and with ‘Nehruviandoom’ he re-legitimises and re-invigorates this status. The real joy then is the ascent of Bishop Nehru and most excitingly, with time on his side and development his priority, this should prove to be the first sweet taste of Nehru’s potential.
Words : Cerys Kenneally