MF DOOM, the British-born rapper known for his masked “super villain” stage persona, expert rhyming abilities, and fondness for obscure pop culture samples, has died at the age of 49.
DOOM passed away on October 31st, but news of his death was only revealed today in a statement issued by his wife, Jasmine. His cause of death was not disclosed.
“The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for,” Jasmine wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. “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.”
MF DOOM, whose real name was Daniel Dumile, was born in London, England on January 9th, 1971, the son of a Trinidadian mother and a Zimbabwean father. At the age of 17, after relocating to Long Island, New York, Daniel (performing under the name Zev Love X) teamed with his younger brother Dingilizwe Dumile (DJ Subroc) to form KMD. The hip-hop group — whose lineup was rounded out by Onyx the Birthstone Kid — experienced moderate success in the early 1990s. They made their debut in a guest capacity on 3rd Bass’ “The Gas Face”, and released their debut album, Mr. Hood, in 1991. Tragically, just before releasing their sophomore record, Subroc was struck by a car and killed.
Following the death of his brother, Dumile relocated to Atlanta and took a three-year respite from music. In 1997, he returned to New York City, this time with a new persona — MF DOOM. Inspired by the Marvel Comics supervillain Doctor Doom, MF DOOM obscured his face by wearing a metal mask. His solo debut as MF DOOM, Operation: Doomsday, was released in 1999. Almost entirely self-produced, the Doomsday featured verbose bars and intricate rhymes over top elite crate-digger beats, crumbly guitars, and truncated disco samples. Two decade laters, it remains one of the most lauded and influential underground rap albums of all-time.
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