Key to the Kuffs

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Key to the Kuffs
Key To The Kuffs Album Cover.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 20, 2012
GenreUnderground hip hop
Alternative hip hop
LabelLex Records
ProducerJneiro Jarel
Jneiro Jarel chronology
Key to the Kuffs
MF Doom chronology
Born Like This
Key to the Kuffs
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubB+[3]
Consequence of SoundC-[4]
Drowned in Sound6/10[5]
NME4/5 stars[7]
Resident Advisor4.0/5[9]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[10]

Key to the Kuffs is a collaborative album by alternative hip hop artists Jneiro Jarel and MF Doom under the moniker JJ Doom. It was released on Lex Records on August 20, 2012.[12]


Jneiro Jarel produced the music in his studio in New Orleans. Although he and Doom met several times during the recording the bulk of the work was carried out in their respective studios.[13][page needed] MF Doom recorded the vocals for the album in London between December 2010 and April 2012.[14][page needed]

The album includes guest vocals by Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, Beth Gibbons of Portishead, Khujo Goodie of Goodie Mob and Dungeon Family, and Boston Fielder.[15]


Two alternative versions of tracks from the album were released prior to the album. The tracks were the Doom/Thom Yorke/Jonny Greenwood version of "Retarded Fren"[16] and the Dave Sitek remix of "Rhymin' Slang."[17]

Critical reception[edit]

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Key to the Kuffs received an average score of 74% based on 26 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[1]

The Guardian described Key to the Kuffs as a "killer new album with a spectral guest vocal by Beth Gibbons from Portishead."[18] Spin listed a lyric in "Banished" as one of the best rap lines of 2012.[19] Thom Yorke of Radiohead listed "Guv'nor" as his "single of 2012."[20]

In 2017 Pitchfork wrote that "Key to the Kuffs has aged into excellence in the nearly five years since it first came out."[21]

Track listing[edit]

4."Bite the Thong" (featuring Damon Albarn)3:54
5."Rhymin' Slang"2:20
6."Dawg Friendly"2:38
7."Borin Convo"2:20
8."Snatch That Dough"0:46
9."GMO" (featuring Beth Gibbons)4:22
10."Bout the Shoes" (featuring Boston Fielder)2:34
11."Winter Blues"4:11
12."Still Kaps" (featuring Khujo Goodie)1:28
13."Retarded Fren"3:38
14."Viberian Sun Pt. II"3:12
15."Wash Your Hands"2:41
Total length:41:59
Butter Edition
5."Bite the Thong" (featuring Damon Albarn)3:54
6."Rhymin' Slang"2:20
7."Dawg Friendly"2:39
8."Pause Tape"2:07
9."The Signs" (featuring Gone the Hero)1:29
10."Borin Convo"2:20
11."Snatch That Dough"0:46
12."GMO" (featuring Beth Gibbons)4:21
13."Bout the Shoes" (featuring Boston Fielder)2:34
14."Winter Blues"4:11
15."Still Kaps" (featuring Khujo Goodie)1:28
16."Retarded Fren"3:39
17."Viberian Son" (featuring Del the Funky Homosapien)3:34
18."Wash Your Hands"2:42
19."Guv'nor (BadBadNotGood Version)"2:53
20."Rhymin' Slang (Dave Sitek Remix)"2:38
21."Retarded Fren (Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood Version)"3:18
22."Bookfiend (Clams Casino Version)"2:53
23."Banished (Beck Remix)"4:05
Total length:63:41


Chart Peak
US Billboard 200[22] 148
US Heatseekers Albums[23] 3
US Independent Albums[24] 24
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[25] 25
US Tastemaker Albums[26] 17


  1. ^ a b "Keys to the Kuffs by JJ Doom". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Jeffries, David. "Key to the Kuffs - JJ Doom". AllMusic. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Rabin, Nathan (August 14, 2012). "Masta Ace: Ma_Doom: Son of Yvonne / JJ DOOM: Key to the Kuffs". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Kivel, Adam (August 16, 2012). "JJ DOOM – Key to the Kuffs". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Monroe, Jazz (August 14, 2012). "JJ DOOM - Key to the Kuffs". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Morpurgo, Joseph (September 6, 2012). "Keys to the Kuffs". Fact. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  7. ^ Barnes, Henry (August 16, 2012). "JJ DOOM – 'Key To The Kuffs'". NME. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Patrin, Nate (August 29, 2012). "JJ DOOM: Key to the Kuffs". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Lawrence, James (September 11, 2012). "JJ DOOM - Key to the Kuffs". Resident Advisor. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Quadrino, Peter (September 7, 2012). "JJ DOOM - Key to the Kuffs". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Stolman, Elissa (August 22, 2012). "JJ Doom - Key to the Kuffs". XLR8R. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Battanon, Carrie (July 27, 2012). "Listen: JJ DOOM: "Guv'nor"". Pitchfork Media.
  13. ^ Delerme, Felipe (2012). "Interview with Jneiro Jarel, (Frank151, Issue 48)".
  14. ^ Yates, Steve (April 2012). "Q Magazine: The Exile Factor". Q.
  15. ^ Martin, Andrew (July 5, 2012). "JJ DOOM Reveal "Key To The Kuffs" Release Date, Tracklist". Complex.
  16. ^ Pellyon, Jenn (November 1, 2011). "Hear Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and DOOM: "Retarded Fren"". Pitchfork Media.
  17. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (December 16, 2011). "JJ DOOM: "Rhymin' Slang (Dave Sitek Remix)"". Pitchfork Media.
  18. ^ "Film & Music: The F&M Playlist". The Guardian. July 20, 2012. p. 15.
  19. ^ Spin Staff (December 27, 2012). "Spin 'Best Rap Lines of 2012' Reviews". Spin.
  20. ^ Spin Staff (January 24, 2013). "UNI OF YORKE CLASS 4: HOLLY HERNDON AND ARCA". Dazed Digital.
  21. ^ Nate Patrin (May 30, 2017). "JJ DOOM Bookhead EP". Pitchfork.
  22. ^ "JJ Doom - Chart history - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  23. ^ "JJ Doom - Chart history - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  24. ^ "JJ Doom - Chart history - Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  25. ^ "JJ Doom - Chart history - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "JJ Doom - Chart history - Tastemaker Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2017.

External links[edit]