The Death of a Villain

Rest in peace, MF DOOM.


Rafayel Hovhannisyan, Staff Writer

MF DOOM, formally known as Daniel Dumile, was reported dead on December 31, 2020. While he had died on Halloween, his family felt more comfortable releasing the information of his death at a later date. 

The British-American rapper led a very private life and not much is known about him. He started his career in hip-hop as Zev Love X in the New York rap group KMD with his brother, DJ Subroc. After the death of his brother in 1993, the group disbanded and Dumile went on a hiatus.

After being treated horribly by the music industry following the death of his brother, Dumile developed the now legendary persona MF DOOM, by wearing a mask inspired by the comic book villain, Dr. Doom, and playing the role of the villain of hip hop.

His first album, Operation Doomsday, was a hit in the underground community, and his unique rhymes and bars were noticed immediately. This was the beginning of his rise in the underground scene. After this album, he released other albums under the names King Ghidorah (inspired by Godzilla), Victor Vaughn (taken from Dr. Doom’s real name, Victor von Doom), Metal Fingers,  and other lesser known personas. 

While his other personas did well on their own, none witnessed the same level of fame as MF DOOM. With the release of Mm…Food he continued inspiring his peers. He continued dropping albums all through the 1990’s and 2000’s, but perhaps his most notable album, and in many of his fans’ opinion his magnum opus, was Madvillainy

Madvillainy was a collaboration between MF DOOM and the legendary Mad Lib. Together they made an amazing album with songs like “Fancy Clown”, “Raid”, “Figaro” and “Accordion”. This album perhaps should even go down as one of the best albums of the last century.

While many mainstream media outlets and personalities don’t talk about MF DOOM, he has been labeled as the “favorite rapper of your favorite rapper”. He has inspired the likes of Drake, Tyler the Creator, ASAP Rocky and many more. He pioneered the construction of intricate lines and storytelling through his music. He rarely included choruses in his music, but instead he just continuously gave us verse-after-verse of the most intricate storytelling you can possibly hear.

In general, MF DOOM might be forgotten by society in a year or two, but to his fans and the music community, he will be cemented as the lovable villain of the music industry that surpassed boundaries in hip hop that never were before. 

(Editor’s note: Also don’t miss The Mouse and the Mask, MF DOOM’s collaboration with Danger Mouse. Yes, those are the characters from Adult Swim. Just go with it.)