Release Date: Oct 7, 2014
Record label: Lex
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
Q: What do you get when an up-and-coming 17-year-old lyrical, leftfield New York emcee bumps into the Masked Supervillain in a red cave in London inhabited by gazelles?A: A super dope album (entirely produced by DOOM) bursting at the seams with ill rhymes from DOOM and his young disciple over classic out-there production from Metal Face himself. The album opens up with the lyric-less "First Day of Class," some loose funk reminiscent of DOOM's DangerDOOM collab with producer Danger Mouse, which quickly transitions into "Om," the fast-paced cartoon caper that finds young Bishop (who sounds at times like Deltron-era Del if you ask me) coasting comfortably over the best while DOOM supplies the chorus, "Straight to the dome/ Right between the eyes/ All of y'all can get it/ So don't be too surprised guys. .
At the age of 18, Rockland County, New York product, Bishop Nehru, has flown under the radar crafting rhymes in a style reminiscent of New York emcees of the ‘80s and late ‘90s. The choice to trade mainly in what is considered a fading era of Hip Hop has earned him the attention of from the likes of Nas and MF Doom — the masked beat maker who teamed up with the young prodigy to release Bishop Nehru’s first full-length album, NehruvianDOOM. Those familiar with DOOM’s work behind the boards and on the mic know he’s comfortable dealing in the obscure.
It’s hard not to get terribly excited whenever the name DOOM is labelled on a record. The man consistently constructs some of the most interesting and intelligent hip hop on the planet, with a solo and collaborative discography as long as your arm and a backlog of production thicker than a badly made Victoria Sponge. The man is as talented as he is enigmatic and has recruited a young new protégé for his latest outing NehruvianDOOM.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Every few months some little upstart comes along to remind you just how little you've achieved with your life. It could be Manchester United's 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj signing a £30,000 a week contract, or 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio who sold an app to Yahoo for £18m, or it could be New York hip-hop artist Bishop Nehru who has attracted acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic and worked with rap legend DOOM all before his eighteenth birthday.
The big thing is the age difference. It’s quick math: A full quarter century separates the 43-year-old DOOM and the 18-year-old Bishop Nehru, the latest startlingly young New York rapper. On his debut mixtape, Nehruvia, Bishop showed his respect for his now-mentor by opening with a rip of a DOOM interview and proceeding to nab two of his instrumentals.
This latest hook-up between rising New York MC Bishop Nehru and legendary metal-masked producer and rapper MF DOOM neatly illustrates the potential pitfalls of collaboration. Eighteen-year-old Nehru has been releasing hook-filled mixtapes for three years, initially via Odd Future’s online forum. He’s a dextrous lyricist and a hot talent. But on this imbalanced record, where DOOM provides both production and lyrical highlights, he’s overshadowed.
The veteran mentor/young up-and-comer dynamic almost always has a good story behind it, even if it's a simple one. In 2013, when he was still two years away from the legal drinking age that his show's attendees were at, rising NYC phenom Bishop Nehru shared a bill with MF DOOM in London's renowned 100 Club. Nehru had already seized on the opportunity to rhyme over a DOOM beat the previous year on his early release Nehruvia: the Mixtape with his track "Lemon Grass".
“I just don’t understand how NehruvianDOOM sucks so much”– my roommate NehruvianDOOM starts with an ostensibly thuggish-sounding man’s voice demonstrating an “om” chant, which in Metal Fingers’ burnished phalanges is more of a glib joke about Orientalism than it is a meditative beckoning. Despite this intentionally pulpy staging of that all-encompassing sound, DOOM’s long-awaited project with newcomer Bishop Nehru plays out more like a myriad of tangentially related YouTube videos droning on simultaneously in different browser windows than it does a cohesive hum. And unlike DOOM contemporaries Freddie Gibbs and Madlib — who dropped the blissfully disorienting Piñata earlier this year — DOOM and Nehru make no attempt at splicing these pieces together in an affective way on NehruvianDOOM.
Does alt-hip hop have a more revered veteran than MF DOOM? And is there a more hotly tipped teen rapper than Bishop Nehru? It’s hard to answer either of those questions affirmatively. DOOM’s peerless back catalogue is testament to his masterful command of nuanced, inventive production, entrancingly lethargic flow and articulate, witty lyrics. Nehru, on the other hand, has whipped up quite the media storm for himself by virtue of his passionate, open style and a self-assurance that belies his young age (he only recently turned 18).
The future is looking increasingly bright for New York lyricist, Bishop Nehru. At just 18 years old, Nehru has amassed an impressive catalog with his 2012-debut mixtape, Nehruvia, and last year’s follow-up, strictlyFLOWZ. Both projects were greeted with acclaim from the likes of Kendrick Lamar , as well as a simmering buzz from hip-hop’s underground landscape.