Influential hip hop artist MF DOOM has died. The British-American rapper, born Daniel Dumile, released music under the guises The Villain, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah and Metal Fingers during his lifetime, and was a much-loved figure of the underground rap scene. He was just 49 years old at the time of his passing.

In the early ‘90s Dumile, under the name Zev Love X, formed the core of politically charged New York hip-hip trio KMD alongside his brother, DJ Subroc. After Subroc was tragically killed while attempting to cross the Long Island Expressway, the group were dropped by Elektra, who claimed the artwork for 1993 album ‘Black Bastards’ was too controversial for release.

Dumile withdrew from the scene, but reappeared in 1997 donning a mask inspired by Marvel Comics’ supervillain Dr Doom. The early ‘00s were then prolific for the newly-renamed MF DOOM, as a string of self-produced solo projects and the Special Herbs series of instrumental tracks (as Metal Fingers) were released. After collaborating with Madlib in 2004 for the acclaimed album ‘Madvillainy’, Dumile captured a much wider audience. The album is now considered one of the greatest achievements in the genre of hip hop.

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DOOM proved impossible to predict in the years that followed, as he revelled in the mystery and confusion created by the mask by regularly employing stand-ins for his live performances. Despite these self-imposed abstractions, his legacy will be the sharpest of wits, his comedic delivery, and the rhythmic complexity and intricacy of his stream-of-consciousness rhymes.

His talent earned him the title “your favourite MC’s favourite MC” – while many would argue he was simply the best to ever do it.

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