MF DOOM Dies: Respected Rapper And Producer Who Performed Under Several Names Was 49

Bruce Haring
·2 min read

Rapper Daniel Dumile, who performed under the name MF DOOM and several other pseudonyms, died October 31, according to his family. No cause of death was given, but his representatives confirmed the passing.

His wife Jasmine posted the news on Instagram.

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“To Dumile,” Jasmine began. “The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for. 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,” she continued. “My world will never be the same without you. I love both and adore you always. May THE ALL continue to bless you, our family and the planet. All my Love, Jasmine.”

Although respected by his peers for his artistry and creativity, Dumile’s mainstream success was limited and marked by hard times.

After his family moved to Long Island from London, he started performing as a teenager under the name Zev Love X as part of the hip-hop group KMD, which he started with his younger brother, DJ Subroc. The group’s debut album was released in 1991, but its follow-up was shelved after Subroc was killed in a car accident in 1993.

Reeling from the death and the subsequent drop by his record label, Dumile took to the streets, sleeping on benches for several years as he wandered aimlessly. He re-emerged in the late 1990s at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe in Manhattan, performing while wearing a stocking mask.

In 1999, he released his debut as MF DOOM, Operation: Doomsday. A memorable stage persona also emerged, as he performed wearing a mask that reminded many of Marvel Comics character Doctor Doom.

He went on to create a series of production tracks and solo/collaborative efforts under various names. One highlight was The Mouse and the Mask with Danger Mouse. By 2009, MF DOOM and his various pseudonyms released six full-length albums. He was living in London at the time of his death, having been banned from returning to the US after a tour.

Besides his wife, the couple’s son, King Malachi Ezekiel Dumile, died in 2017 at age 14.

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