A featured artist in our #RushHourRap series, a truly original rapper, and a personal favorite of mine, it came out over the weekend that indie rap icon MF DOOM passed away at the age of 49. Yet another truly stunning loss for the music industry as a whole. Known for his lyrical prowess, and unapologetically verbose style, Daniel Dumile (pronounced Doom-ee-lay) AKA MF DOOM has been rapping under various names since the 80s. Dumile was a member of the rap group KMD, going by the name of Zev Love X, but the group broke up in 1993 after the death of his brother. After a few years away from music, Dumile came back onto the scene performing while wearing a Doctor Doom mask and adopted the moniker “MF Doom.” Doctor Doom is even on the cover of his 1999 debut solo album Operation: Doomsday.
Most of MF DOOM’s solo work came in the early-mid 2000s with probably his most well known album, Mm…Food, a clever anagram that included tracks all named after food such as “Rapp Snitch Knishes” to complete the wordplay. His last solo album dropped back in 2009, but he’s done all kinds of collabs over the years like the Madvillainy album where he teamed up with Madlib for what many call his magnum opus.
DOOM collabs often sneak up on you with their completely unique beats and work their way into your brain like the 2018 collab with Czarface, Czarface Meets Metal Face.
Speaking of collabs, I’d be remiss to not include MF DOOM’s 2016 collab with Atmosphere on “When The Lights Go Out.”
You may have never heard DOOM on the radio, but that hasn’t really been a measuring stick of musical quality since *at least* when YouTube was launched, probably earlier if we’re being honest. He was clearly an artist that was held in high regard around the industry. Rap juggernaut Lupe Fiasco even released a freestyle the other day honoring MF DOOM.
Thanx DOOM…I learned so much from you about the art of rapping. Studied and analyzed you for years as recently as a few days ago. I wish I could’ve met you to tell you that. ❤️🙏🏾…here’s some raps…rest easy…Amin… pic.twitter.com/1njyEArfzT— TAPE TAPE & HOUSE EP NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) January 1, 2021
Check out this interview clip below where DOOM talks about how in his rhymes he always wanted to keep people off guard like he was “keeping a good conversation with the listener.” You can actually watch the whole interview from the “MF DOOM: The Man Behind The Mask” documentary here.
So if you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably wondering, why the Doctor Doom mask?
“It don’t matter what the artist look like, it’s more what the artist sound like. The mask really represents to rebel against trying to sell the product as a human being. It’s more of a sound.”
In a sea of ringtone rap and corporate branding, MF DOOM was truly one of the most unique, genuine, gonna do things his own way type of artists we’ve ever seen. Rest in Peace.
Living off borrowed time, the clock tick faster