Lice – Ask Anyone

4 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: MF DOOM (beat by)

Lice – Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman – do a tribute track to MF DOOM, after the latter’s passing in 2020.

The MCs not only each tell individual DOOM-related tales and thoughts on their parts of the track, they’ve also chosen to rhyme over an MF beat – the playful backing from Vast Aire’s Da Supafriendz. This is an appreciated match-up: it keeps the tone celebratory instead of sad, and is a good counterpoint to both Rock’s and Sandman’s plaintive style deliveries. Each’s lyrics are, of course, both telling and intelligent, slipping back and forth between creative praises for MF and then some funny / memorable stories.

It sucks to be critical of a tribute track – proceeds went to DOOM’s family – but, perhaps in keeping the focus on the intention and the words, there’s zero flourish here. Rock and Sandman have different vocal tones but both a lacking range and relatively comparable stop / start flows, and there are no additions to the single loop from MF’s beat. Just a little bit of flash would make this the kind of thing to return to as a single, instead of just a very respectable, head-bobbing occasional playthrough.