Words: Thom Risely
As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, we had to sign the year off with the announcement of one of the greatest MCs who ever lived. MF DOOM (Daniel Dumile) passed away on October 31, aged 49, but his death was reported to Rolling Stone on December 31. The cause of Dumile’s death is still unknown.
Remaining almost entirely anonymous behind the legendary mask, the London-born, New York-based musician became so much more than a rapper. The image of the mask – based on Marvel Comics character Doctor Doom – hid the way he looked and made his art the focal point. Speaking to Red Bull Radio he said, “It was a time in hip-hop where things from my point of view started going more to what things look like opposed to how things sound like.”
His sarcastic and introverted style combined with his legendary flow attracted the term ‘your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper’. As the face and the voice behind one of underground hip-hop’s greatest albums, ‘Madvillainy’, his legacy won’t be understated.
Flying Lotus, who just released the track ‘Lunch Break’ with DOOM on GTA V, said, “My soul is crushed. We have to celebrate DOOM. Playing the music isn’t enough,” later stating that he and the masked rapper had been working on an EP together.
Tim Burgess organised a Twitter listening party as part of his ‘Tim’s Listening Party’ series for DOOM’s final solo album ‘Born Like This’. Soul, jazz and funk DJ Gilles Peterson presented a tribute here.
MF DOOM’s death has been felt in all corners of the popular musical realm and rightly so. One of the greatest to ever pick up a mic, he only ever did things his way.
I can’t express in words how much this news has affected me personally. What has been a tough year for everyone, 2020 had to land one last blow. Legendary MF DOOM has taken the final bow. We are lucky to have what could be considered his best art to appreciate for the rest of our lives so I urge you all to explore DOOM’s art.
RIP MF DOOM.