My introduction to 30Whop affiliate Mike of Doom came in the summer of 2015. He was blowing weed smoke through the mouthpiece of a paper Barack Obama mask, in the Rejected Shelf-helmed video for what was then his blazing new bedroom banger “Smokealadope.” That track, along with most of Doom’s work that year (“Who tf,” “Masterpiece,” “Mask Off,” “Futuristic Player”) featured blown-out synths and trap hi-hats, while his liquid flow kept things goofy and loose.
It was a promising debut: Each track showcased Doom’s ability to make a well-traversed style sound fresh and primitive. He kept refining his trap-influenced style as recently as last summer, which apexed with the rattling No Bullshit EP made in collaboration with producer Free Diesel. That was then. Today, Doom is readying for the release of MICHAEL, a project that presents a new path. The two tracks so far released—“DIVA” and “MONA LISA”—bring a variety of disparate styles to the forefront, including electro house, Afro punk, blues pop, and g funk. Here, Doom’s new voice is assured and sharp, less wild than before, instead opting for a more classic MC style, bridging the wide gap between Sugarhill Gang and Lil B. On other, yet-to-be released MICHAEL tracks, including the Heems-featuring “I Need Space,” Doom expands on his new sound, showcasing his ability to craft songs around emerging styles and past influences rather than resting on today’s hot sounds, like trap. If Doom is able to harness his newfound creative energy beyond MICHAEL, he’ll be yet another local MC putting DMV hip-hop on the map.