The First Time I Heard MF DOOM Rap

Photo:  Jim Dyson/Redferns (Getty Images)
Photo: Jim Dyson/Redferns (Getty Images)

MF DOOM is such a unique figure in the history of entertainment, let alone hip-hop. Once an enigma, DOOM ended his career as one of the most praised and beloved figures in music history.

Metal Face died on Halloween in 2021, but fans did not learn of his death until Dec. 31, 2021. Hip-hop heads all over the internet shared their favorite DOOM moments, songs, albums and experiences and every one of them was so different. He was something different to everyone that listened to him, including me.

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I can vividly remember the first time I’d ever heard King Geedorah rap. I had to be at least 12 years old. My older brother thought it would be a good idea to put on the greatest television show in history, The Boondocks. I had always heard of the show, but my brother and parents wouldn’t let me watch it due to my age and the maturity of the show.

But one day, my brother decided I was ready. Eventually, we got to season 1, episode 11, aka, “Let’s Nab Oprah.” Not only is this particular episode special to me because it’s one of the funniest stories in the history of television, but it’s also the first time I had ever heard of Viktor Vaughn.

Unlike other hip-hop lovers, I didn’t grow up in a family or around friends who were super well-versed in the history of rap and the talented figures that spawned from the genre. But, thanks to this one episode of The Boondocks, I got a crash course into who Zev Love X really was.

The first song I heard was in the opening scene when Gin and Rummy carry out a bank robbery with the help of Riley. As the duo of Gin and Rummy, (played by Charlie Murphy and Samuel L. Jackson) walk into the bank, the beat for “Strange Ways” begins to play, and I heard DOOM rap in ways I had never heard before.

He raps, “Wreak havoc/beep beep it’s mad traffic/Sleek and lavish people speak and leak it to the maverick/He see as just another felony drug arrest/Any day could be the one he pick the wrong thug to test.”

Madvillain - Strange Ways (Official Video)

It was unlike anything I had ever heard. He rapped in an unorthodox way that was still sonically pleasing. But that still wasn’t the peak of his rapping abilities.

DOOM’s next showing for me was in the same episode, when Huey, Riley’s brother, attempts to stop Gin, Rummy and Riley from kidnapping Oprah. As Huey confronts Bushido Brown, one of the greatest beats in the history of hip-hop begins to play. My attention immediately went away from the action going on in the scene and focused on the music being played.

He raps, “So nasty that it’s probably somewhat of a travesty/Having me daily told the people you call me your majesty/Keep your battery charged, you know it won’t stick you/And it’s not his fault you kick slow.”

He continues, “Should’ve let your trick ho chick hold your sick flow/Plus nobody couldn’t do nothin’ once he let the brick go/And you know I know that’s a bunch of snow/The beat is so butter, peep the slow cutter/ As he cutter the calm flow/Don’t talk about my moms yo.”

Like, who raps like that?

Madvillain - All Caps

I was pulled into a world of music that I had never heard before. It opened my ears to a brand of hip-hop that I was not familiar with. He forever changed my taste in hip-hop and music. His in-your-face lyrics fit with the in-your-face brand of storytelling that was The Boondocks. It forever sparked my love for one of the most influential artists and one of the most beloved TV shows in the history of entertainment. For that, I’m forever grateful to the artist that was MF DOOM and the unique brand of rapping he introduced to a new generation of music listeners.

Thank you DOOM.

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