MF DOOM Dead at 49

    MF DOOM, the legendary rapper and producer known for his intricate wordplay and signature mask, has passed away at the age of 49. The rapper died on October 31, according to his wife Jasmine Dumile, who first announced the news on his Instagram page. A cause of death has not been revealed.

    “The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for,” the statement reads. “Thank you for all the things you have shown, taught and given to me, our children and our family. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive beings and give another chance, not to be so quick to judge and write off. Thank you for showing how not to be afraid to love and be the best person I could ever be.”

    MF DOOM, whose real name was Daniel Dumile, was born in London in 1971 and grew up on Long Island, New York. The son of a Trinidadian mother and a Zimbabwean father, Dumile started rapping in the late 1980s under the moniker Zev Love X in the group KMD, which he formed with his younger brother DJ Subroc. The hip-hop group, whose lineup was rounded out by Onyx the Birthstone Kid, released their critically acclaimed album Mr. Hood in 1991, but disbanded two years later, while they were recording its follow-up Black Bastards, after Subroc was struck and killed by a car.

    Following his brother’s death, Dumile relocated to Atlanta and took a step back from the public eye, only to re-emerge in the late 1990s as MF DOOM, donning what would become his signature mask inspired by Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom. “They call me ‘DOOM’ too [because of my last name Dumile],” he said in a 2003 interview. “I could always relate to that character. I liked him; he was ill. He’d always come through [after] he disappeared. It seemed like they killed him, but he always comes back.” His self-produced debut Operation: Doomsday came out in April 1999, kicking off a series of widely influential releases under a range of different aliases, including King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn.

    Explaining why he never recorded a project under the name Daniel Dumile, he said in an interview with Passionweiss: “Hip-hop is so saturated with the same old same old that people always expect the guy to actually be the guy. They want you to be real and straight from the streets and all that. I make hip-hop, but use DOOM as a character to convey stories that a normal dude can’t. You have writers that write about crazy characters but that doesn’t mean the writer himself is crazy.”

    MF DOOM issued his second album, the ambitious concept record MM…FOOD, in 2004, but it was his collaboration with the equally enigmatic producer Madlib that same year that remains his most iconic and celebrated release. Blending DOOM’s brilliantly rhyme-dense lyrics and Madlib’s eclectic production, Madvillainy not only brought DOOM wider notoriety as an artist, but also became a landmark release in underground hip-hop. A frequent collaborator, DOOM also teamed up with Danger Mouse the following year to form Danger Doom, releasing an album called The Mouse and the Mask. From 2001 to 2005, the prolific rapper also put out a number of releases under his instrumental beat series Special Herbs. 

    DOOM’s output slowed considerably in the latter half of the 2000s. He released his final proper studio album Born Like This in 2009, but continued making sporadic guest appearances on tracks from artists including Flying Lotus and The Avalanches, as well as contributing to collaborative projects such as 2014’s NehruvianDOOM with Bishop Nehru and 2018’s Czarface Meets Metal Face. Just a few weeks ago, he was featured on BADBADNOTGOOD’s new song ‘The Chocolate Conquistadors’.

    “Thank you for showing how not to be afraid to love and be the best person I could ever be. My world will never be the same without you,” Jasmine Dumile’s statement continues. “Words will never express what you and Malachi mean to me, I love both and adore you always. May THE ALL continue to bless you, our family and the planet.”

    Upon hearing the shocking news of DOOM’s death, many musicians and artists took to social media to offer their tributes and remembrances. Find tributes from Tyler, the Creator, Questlove, Jay Electronica, El-P, Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats, Danny Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, and many more below.


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    Η δημοσίευση κοινοποιήθηκε από @djpremier


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    Η δημοσίευση κοινοποιήθηκε από το χρήστη Questlove (@questlove)


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    Η δημοσίευση κοινοποιήθηκε από το χρήστη Stones Throw (@stonesthrow)


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    Η δημοσίευση κοινοποιήθηκε από το χρήστη Geoff Barrow (@barrow_geoff)

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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