Daniel Dumile (born 9 January 1971) is a hip hop artist who has taken on several stage names in his career, most notably MF Doom, often stylized as MF DOOM, now known as simply DOOM. He has appeared in several collaborative projects such as Danger Doom (with Danger Mouse) and Madvillain (with Madlib).
The Doom live experience caused controversy in 2007, when the highly acclaimed lyricist behind Madvillainy and The Mouse and the Mask allegedly sent an impostor to perform several of his dates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furious crowds booed and took their rage to the Internet, reporting that the impostor lip-synced to MF Doom's songs. Self-proclaimed super-villain Doom posted no response to his fan's rage until now, when he tells Rolling Stone that he couldn't care less. "Everything that we do is villain style," Doom says. "Everybody has the right to get it or not get it. Once I throw it out, it's there for interpretation. It might've seemed like it didn't go well, but how do we know that wasn't just pre-orchestrated so that we're talking about it now? I tell you one thing: People are asking more now for live shows and I'm charging more, so it must've worked somewhere." Such weirdness is par for the course for the erratic artist, born Daniel Dumile.
The rapper M. F. Doom understands the deformative power of rhyme, which has a tendency to warp even the most straightforward thoughts. He delivers long, free-associative verses full of sideways leaps and unexpected twists. You think you know where he's heading and what each sentence will mean when it ends. Then it bends.
Fenugreek, a clover-like herb whose name derives from the Latin for “Greek hay,” is used in several foods and beverages. But there is a musical footnote here, too. The word, if not the seed itself, was was also used by the hip-hop artist MF Doom, as the title of an instrumental in his ongoing Special Herbs series. The “Fenugreek” track, which is below, became the basis of the Ghostface Killah song “9 Milli Bros,” from the album “Fishscale.”
Doom, who has gone by the names King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn in the past, is no stranger to album-length collaborations. In 2005 he teamed up with Danger Mouse for The Mouse and the Mask, a record credited to Danger Doom. He is also half of the duo Madvillain with DJ and producer Madlib.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is working on a collaboration with the rapper MF Doom. In an interview with 3D World Magazine, Doom said "[We're] working on some duets," but further explained that their music thus far has been "preliminary shit" but that they will "probably end up doing a whole record together." Yorke had previously worked with MF Doom on a remix of "Gazzillion Ear," a track from the rapper's 2009 album Born Like This.
After a few repetitions, a sample becomes known but doesn’t necessarily stop being strange. The imperfections in whatever is being sampled are retained, the stresses and flaws and cracks. There is a tactile quality to “Madvillainy” [a collaborative album between producer Madlib and MF Doom] which leads us to the smoking gun of the record, if there is one: marijuana. There are repeated allusions to weed and several samples of a 1971 record called “A Child’s Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy.” The key sample: “In fact, everyone finds that they’re more creative stoned than straight.”
Some fourteen years ago, MF Doom (Daniel Dumile) signed with a major label, Elektra, as part of the group KMD, which included his brother Subroc. In 1991, KMD put out “Mr. Hood,” a delightful, unusual record that was often lumped with De La Soul’s 1989 album “3 Feet High and Rising.” De La Soul combined playful samples of well-known funk songs and a friendly, Day-Glo graphic sense. KMD was a darker, stranger group, and never quite fit that template. Doom, then known as Zev Love X, has a slightly obstructed voice, as if his tongue were too big for his mouth. KMD’s samples made reference to racial unease. In 1993, Elektra dropped KMD, and refused to release its second album, “Black Bastards,” reportedly because of controversial artwork (a drawing of a Sambo figure hanged on a gallows).
At the center of this incredibly dark self-portrait [Born Like This] is Charles Bukowski's "Dinosauria, We," which Doom samples on "Cellz." "Born like this, into this...We are born into the sorrowful deadliness," the legendary literary wastrel intones. But while the album is more a series of word puzzles than a memoir, it does occasionally illuminate the man behind the mask. Doom deconstructs his persona on "More Rhymin'" ("he talks to himself when he needs someone to hate on") and throughout, gives a performance both infuriating -- he gaybaits Batman on "Batty Boys" (?!) -- and intoxicating, as his knotty linguistics draw you into a singularly malcontented mind.
MF Doom has always adopted a marvel–sized supervillain persona. But lately, life has imitated comic-book art, from outrageous rumors of his death to charges that he's used lip-synching impersonators at his concerts. On Born Like This, the recluse also known as Daniel Dumile doesn't apologize for past misdeeds. Instead, sardonic references to blood-drenched combat and Ray J sex tapes float among self-produced loops so rickety they nearly run off-beat.
After emerging in the late '90s, Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. Metal Face Doom, suffered a series of setbacks -- the death of his brother (and musical partner) Subroc, Elektra's rejection of their second KMD album. Years of despair and homelessness followed, until he reappeared in 1997 wearing a mask and releasing gnomic singles.