MF Doom


The history of rappers having alter-ego's kin to comic-book superheroes and super-villains has always been a prominent phenomenon in Hip-Hop. From the likes of the legendary Detroit rapper Eminem having Slim Shady & Marshall Mathers to the revered ,"Madlib" with Quaismoto. None of the above would be able to cultivate a cult following of fans than London born and New York bred rapper/producer Daniel Dumile. He is better known as ,"MF Doom" behind the metal mask. MF Doom states in this interview that this character is based upon all of the villains throughout time with a phantom of the opera style mask combined with the likes of the notorious super villain Dr. Doom. By engulfing his music with numerous alter-egos, sci-fi and comic book references, MF Doom has been able to cultivate a world all of his own that oozes his masterpieces of Hip-Hop music.

Hailing from the borough of Long Island, New York Daniel has always immersed himself with the likes of music, comic books and video games respectively. His brother Dingilizwe Dumile who went by DJ Subroc would team up with his brother Zev Love X (Daniel's alter-go before he changed it to MF Doom) to form KMD (Kausing Much Damage) in 1988. They would soon be picked up by A&R Dante Ross from Elektra Records to release their debut album "Mr. Hood" (1991). Due to both of them identifying with the struggles of the black community, they were able to address Black American issues, religion and racism while still achieving moderate commercial success. In 1993, on the eve of their sophomore effort "Black Bastards", Daniel's brother DJ Subroc would fatally be hit by a car. This combined with their controversial sophomore album being shelved by the label due to controversial issues pertaining to the albums content, KMD would almost immediately be dropped from Elektra Records all together. Zev Love X disgusted with the music industry and being distraught from the passing of his brother, would ultimately disappear from the music scene for the next 4 years.

1997 would be the dawn of the man seen sporting the metal mask (MF Doom) while rapping at random open-mics in New York.  MF Doom would wiggle his way into a record deal with the independent record label Fondle Em' Records in 1999 to release his debut solo album "MF Doom: Operation Doomsday" . From this album and onward he would commit to delivering original and masterful pieces of music in the most anonymous ways he could think of. MF Doom would receive critical acclaim for his debut album and would also start to develop a cult following of fans who were itching for more. In 2003, he would be spotted again under a new alias, Viktor Vaughn with the project "Vaudeville Villain". At the top of 2004, he would release the arguably most well received work of his discography be teaming up with legendary producer Madlib to release "Madvillainy". MF Doom & Madlib would dub themselves Madvillain on this project to bring a certain double-punch effort on this Hip-Hop masterpiece. Closing out 2004, MF Doom would keep working relentlessly to release his second studio album "MM..Food" under the alias MF Doom in which contained a culinary themed focus. MF Doom's work ethic has always been praised to be top notch as in 2005 he would release a live album that he recored in San Francisco named "Live From Planet X". 

No matter what alias or alter-ego Daniel has used throughout his private but revered career, MF Doom has always stayed loyal to always releasing only quality music that is considered by him to be the highest of art forms. All of this done without showing his face.

Peep his musical masterpieces below and check out one of his best interviews that took place across the waters in Madrid where he explains his creative process and the story behind his alter-egos!

MF Doom- Beef Rap from "MM Food" Album 

MF Doom - Doomsday from Album "Operation Doomsday

It was pretty much organic the way we did it. O (Otis) would be writing downstairs in the bomb shelter, doing the beats or whatever and just come up with a CD. And I’ll hear that and start writing on it and he’s on the next batch of beats right then, it was like a conveyor belt of creativity. We got (the) songs done pretty quick. The first Madvillain record was like as soon as I hear something I write to it. He had a fresh batch of beats that he was doing while I was writing the other one, so it was like ‘bang, bang’. I think that’s something that comes across in how it (Madvilliany) sounds and why it’s such a popular record.
— MF Doom on the creative process of working on Madvillainy with Madlib

MF DOOM & Madlib - Accordian from "Madvillainy" Album 

Madvillain - Raid from "Madvillainy" Album 

The MF DOOM character is really a combination of all villains throughout time. The classic villain with the mask—Phantom of the Opera-style. Of course there’s a little twist of Dr. Doom in there, even a little Destro from GI Joe. It’s an icon of American culture. I kinda made it a mish-mash of all the villains together, and my last name is Dumile, so everyone used to call me “Doom” anyway. It’s a parody of all the villains.
— Direct quote from MF Doom on his "MF Doom" Character
Hip hop's last enigma sits down on the Academy couch to break down the message behind the mask, rap beef behind his different personas, and why good things come to those who wait.