Rest In Peace, MF DOOM

Liam Austen writes a touching tribute to the forever great MF DOOM

Liam Austen
2nd January 2021
Artwork by Liam Austen @dontdo_dull on Instagram
Living on borrowed time, the clock spins faster. In the music world, there have been a great many artists considered legends within their genre.

Daniel Dumile - also known as MF DOOM, was most certainly revered as a living legend in the hip hop community.

Unfortunately, on the 31st October of this year, he passed away, becoming a legend of the truest form. On New Year’s Eve, Dumile’s wife Jasmine notified his fans of his passing through Instagram, referring to him as “The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover, and friend [she] could ever ask for”.

The very nature of this announcement, some two months after his passing, lends itself only to the mystery and inscrutability of Dumile’s alter ego. For hip hop fans, Dumile’s style is instantly recognisable, deviating from that of nearly every other mainstream rapper of his time, using unorthodox rhyming patterns and highly complex wordplay within his writing. Even the public image of MF DOOM, clad in his gladiator-esque mask and dark clothes, displays his detachment from the idea of fame and notoriety as a person, rather than purely as a musician.

Like the supervillains that inspired his persona, the mask seemed to afford Dumile unearthly powers, which he used to manipulate and contort the the English language however he desired.

The mask itself has become as icon amongst fans, and a rich source of subject matter for graffiti writers, tattoo artists, painters and illustrators the world over.

Whilst there is no way to imagine the grief that the Dumile family is currently experiencing, it is fair to assume that there are millions of heavy hearts across the globe following this news. For everything you’ve done, everyone you’ve inspired and every syllable in the lyric legacy you left behind, thankyou, Daniel Dumile.

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