By: Malachi Williamson
Recently, the well respected rapper Daniel Dumile, mainly known by his masked persona, MF DOOM, has passed away. His wife, Jasmine Dumile, told the public through various social media posts. Jasmine released this statement on DOOM’s instagram:
“The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for. 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. My world will never be the same without you. 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.”
The news was released December 31, 2020, two months after DOOM died on October 31, 2020, giving his wife and family time to grieve. No cause of death has been stated.
MF DOOM was born in London in 1971. He and his family moved to Long Island, New York when he was a kid, and he started performing and producing hip hop as a teenager under the stage name Zev Love X. He and his younger brother Dingilizwe, known as DJ Subroc, formed the group KMD and put out a critically acclaimed debut album, Mr. Hood, in 1991. Their second album was set to release in 1993, but DOOM’s brother died after being hit by a car. Five years later the rapper re-emerged as MF DOOM, wearing a mask modeled after the Marvel villain Dr. Doom.
DOOM spent his whole career wearing his signature mask. This was due to him wanting to place an emphasis on what he sounded like in his music versus what he looked like, as he stated in an Red Bull interview. He also said, “the mask really represents to rebel against trying to sell the product as a human being,” referring to corporate companies giving their artists “gimmicks” to start selling music. DOOM or any of his alter egos didn’t really get personal in his music so as to not lead back to him as a person, making him a lowkey presence in the industry and leaving nothing connected to his name. He worked on his personas alone and built the image of being the “Supervillain” of rap.
MF DOOM’s most acclaimed albums are Operation: Doomsday, where he talks about his return to the rap scene after KMD disbanded. The album Mm..Food talks about a plethora of topics such as backstabbing friends, bad rappers, and women all incorporated with food bars; Madvillainy is about DOOM being the “illest villain” accompanied by Madlib production. He is praised for his lyrical prowess, off kilter flows, and complex rhyme schemes displayed in these albums. His influence spreads far and wide in the rap industry, most notably in rappers such as Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Joey Bada$$.
Many artists and celebrities have expressed their condolences across social media, like Aminé and Adult Swim who tweeted out “RIP MF DOOM,” Tyler, The Creator tweeting “safe travels villain,” and Q-Tip tweeting “RIP to another Giant your favorite MC’s MC .. MF DOOM!! Crushing news…”.