Hip hop’s consummate villain MF DOOM dead at 49

The masked rapper died on Halloween, his family revealed on New Year’s Eve.

MF DOOM, the rapper famed for his intricate wordplay and the mask he always wore as a self-styled “villain,” has died at the age of 49.

The hip hop artist born Daniel Dumile “transitioned” on Halloween 2020, his wife Jasmine revealed in a post to his social media accounts on New Year’s Eve. “Thank you for showing how not to be afraid to love and be the best person I could ever be. My world will never be the same without you,” her message read.

No cause of death was given. See Jasmine’s post in full below:

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The news of DOOM’s passing shocked the music world, with grieving fans, close collaborators and ardent admirers paying tribute to the rapper on social media. Tyler, the Creator, Run the Jewels, Playboi Carti, Denzel Curry, Aminé and Busta Rhymes are just some hip hop artists who have paid homage.

Lupe Fiasco paid tribute to DOOM in a new freestyle, in which he rapped, “Crying like a grown man / We’ll take it from here, look how far you brought us.” Hear it below.

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On social media, producer Flying Lotus hailed the rapper’s classic joint album with Madlib, Madvillainy: “All u ever needed in hip hop was this record. Sorted. Done. Give it to the fucking aliens.” Flylo also revealed that he had been in the midst of working on an EP with DOOM. “There were more songs that I haven’t even heard,” he tweeted.

DOOM’s last solo album was 2009’s Born Like This, though he released full-length collaborations with Czarface and Bishop Nehru in 2018 and 2019, respectively. He also popped up frequently as a featured artist: His song “The Chocolate Conquistadors” with BADBADNOTGOOD was released just days before news of his death. Last year, he also collaborated with Rejjie Snow and Wilma Archer.

Before he was MF DOOM, Dumile rapped as Zev Love X in the late ’80s group KMD, who released two albums. In 1999, he released Operation: Doomsday, his debut album as MF DOOM—a villainous rap persona inspired by Marvel character Dr Doom.

RIP, MF DOOM. Revisit Madvillainy here:

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