MF Doom, born Daniel Dumile on July 13, 1971, is one of the most celebrated and influential hip-hop artists with an extensive artistic career and multiple monikers under his belt. His unforgettable and eye-catching signature gladiator mask made him an ingenious and respected performer in the industry. According to rapper Q-Tip, “he’s the favorite rapper of your favorite rapper.” Celebrate MF Doom’s birthday here.
MF Doom is recognized as a notable artist and brand genius in the hip-hop scene. His creativity, rap flow, and originality are admired by fellow artists, making him one of the best lyricists, songwriters, and ideators in rap. He was born in Hounslow, London, but grew up in Long Island, New York, the U.S.A. for most of his life. His parents are from Trinidad and Zimbabwe. In his teen years, he and his younger brother, D.J. Subroc, formed a hip-hop group in the 1980s called K.M.D., signing with Elektra Records. Two years after their group’s album debut, his brother passed away due to a road accident. MF Doom then went on a hip-hop hiatus due to personal issues.
In 1998, MF Doom introduced his “Doom” persona where he would perform in open mic events as a masked rapper. “Operation: Doomsday,” released in 1999, became his comeback project and first full-length L.P. This marked the beginning of his future album collaborations and the use of multiple monikers for specific works. Following “Operation: Doomsday,” Dumile released “Special Herbs,” as Metal Fingers, “Take Me To Your Leader,” as King Geedorah, and “Vaudeville Villain,” as Viktor Vaughn. It was in 2005 that he earned breakthrough success with the album release of “Madvillainy.” MF Doom’s album also charted in the U.S. come 2009 and he was touring Europe by 2010.
After his European tour, MF Doom relocated to the U.K. because of a denied visa and re-entry. Following that, his music releases were mostly collaborations with other underground artists until his death.
K.M.D. is a hip hop group MF Doom forms with his younger brother D.J. Subroc and Onyx the Birthstone Kid.
Through Fondle ‘Em Records, MF Doom collaborates with artists for the album, and each adapts a character from Godzilla films as their persona.
The album is well-received with one critic saying that it is “arguably the most cinematic of Dumile’s albums from the turn of the 21st century.”
Known as MF Doom’s masterpiece, the album is a commercial success.
“Born Like This” charts in the U.S., and is released through Lex Records.
Why We Love MF DOOM
He had a strong brand presence
MF Doom’s concept as a masked artist allowed fans to remember him for his artistry. We love his creativity.
He merged his interests to create art
His interest in comic books and natural ability as a storyteller equipped him to become an influential rapper, songwriter, and performer. He was a lover of popular culture.
He kept the focus on his art
Whether it was on stage or in an interview, he knew how to separate and talk about his persona as an artist. We love his dedication to his art.
5 Surprising Facts
MF Doom was a comic book collector
He was a fan and collector of comics since he was a kid.
His persona was based on a nickname
The nickname “Doom” came from his name Dumile.
His persona was an alter ego
MF Doom combined various supervillain characters namely Doctor Doom, Destro, and the Phantom of the Opera.
He was denied reentry into the U.S.
Despite growing up and living in the U.S. for most of his life, MF Doom was denied reentry, resulting in him moving to the U.K.
He used stand-ins for some performances
In some performances, MF Doom sent stand-ins to perform for him, explaining how he is the writer and director of the character who’s wearing his mask.
MF DOOM FAQs
How did MF Doom die?
His wife, Jasmine Dumile, posted a message on his Instagram but no cause of death was stated.
Where did MF Doom get his mask?
In an interview, MF Doom mentioned that replicas of the gladiator masks were popularized after the movie “Gladiator” premiered, and his friend suggested that the mask was “perfect for his (Metal Face) Doom character.”
Why did MF Doom cover his face?
He revealed that “a visual always brings a first impression” and if it were the case, he “might as well use it to control the story, and do something like throw a mask on.”
MF DOOM’s birthday dates