In hip-hop history, there’s never been an artist more enigmatic than Daniel Dumile. He began his career as Zev Love X before disappearing for years to mourn a brother, gain weight and smoke enough White Owl blunts to significantly change his voice. As if that wasn’t enough to shroud his past, he put on a metal mask and began to call himself MF Doom. More nicknames came after, but if the number of microphone personalities was the lone criteria than Kool Keith would be more of an enigma than DOOM. It’s more than that with DOOM, the mask never comes off.
Just as Andy Kauffman never let the joke end and drew no line between reality and performance art, DOOM challenges fans as “rap’s supervillain.” Whether he has actually sent impostors to perform his songs has never been proven, but it’s an indisputable fact that he’s pissed off a lot of cash-paying, concert-going fans. It’s a testament to his verbal linguistics and an odd ear for music with superhuman powers (like turning the most insane production into borderline pop music). In DOOM’s case, the artist exists solely as the art. He rarely does interviews and has released very little new material over the past few years, but was incredibly prolific before that.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Doomsday, his classic debut as MF Doom, the supervillain is releasing a massive box set with alternate versions, b-sides and instrumentals on his own Metalface Records (you can order it via Stones Throw)…and URB.com had to count down Daniel Dumile’s 10 best dizzying videos.