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

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.

“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.”

Dumile’s career started when he was a teenager performing under the name Zev Love as part of the hip-hop group KMD. Following the death of his younger brother DJ Subroc in 1993, Doom disappeared from public life, re-emerging 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 Doom adopted various means of subterfuge, most notably adorning what would become his signature mask modeled after the Marvel villain Doctor Doom.

Following his public resurgence, Dumile would go on to record six studio albums under various monikers (alongside countless other tracks and beat compilations) and leave a trail of collaborations and inspirations in his wake. In 2017, he announced the death of his son Malachi; yet another personal tragedy the rapper endured, all while maintaining a prolific, and genuinely exciting output.

“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,” his wife’s statement continues. “Words will never express what you and Malachi mean to me, I love both and adore you always. May THE ALL continue to bless you, our family and the planet.”

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