MF DOOM, Elusive Bard of Hip-Hop, Dead at 49

NEW YORK – JUNE 28: Rapper MF DOOM performs at a benefit concert for the Rhino Foundation at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield on June 28, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

MF DOOM, the mysterious rapper known for impossibly intricate rhyme schemes and his signature mask, has died at the age of 49. The news was first posted by his wife, Jasmine, on the rapper’s Instagram page. Richie Abbott, MF DOOM’s rep, confirmed the rapper’s death to Rolling Stone. A cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Abbott confirmed that the rapper, whose real name was Daniel Dumile, died on October 31st of this year, but his family did not disclose news of his death until Thursday evening.

“The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for,” Dumile’s wife, Jasmine, wrote. “Thank you for all the things you have shown, taught and given to me, our children and our family. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive beings and give another chance, not to be so quick to judge and write off.”

“All u ever needed in hip hop was this record,” Flying Lotus tweeted alongside the album cover to Madvillainy, Dumile’s 2004 album with Madlib. “My soul is crushed.”

“RIP to another Giant your favorite MC’s MC .. MF DOOM!! crushing news…,” Q-Tip tweeted, while El-P wrote, “He was a writer’s writer. Grateful I got to know you a little, king. Proud to be your fan. Thank you for keeping it weird and raw always. You inspired us all and always will.”

Dumile was born in London in 1971 and moved to New York City with his family early in his childhood. His career started when he was a teenager performing under the name Zev Love as part of the hip-hop group KMD which he started with his younger brother DJ Subroc. Following his brother’s sudden death in 1993, Dumile disappeared from public life, only to re-emerge in the late 1990s at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe in Manhattan where he performed, unannounced, wearing a stocking over his face. The concern with anonymity would become a calling card, as Dumile adopted various means of subterfuge, most notably adorning what would become his signature mask modeled after the Marvel villain Doctor Doom.

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