Born in London to a Trinidadian mother and a Zimbabwean father, Dumile and his family moved to Long Island, New York when he was a child. He co-founded K.M.D.
with his younger brother, DJ Sub-Roc, in 1988, and the group made their recorded debut on "The Gas Face," the hit single by hip-hop trio 3rd Bass
signed to Elektra Records
, who released the group's first full-length, Mr. Hood, in 1991. Part of a short-lived trend of Islamic Five Percent Nation hip-hop outings, along with efforts by groups like Poor Righteous Teachers
's labelmates Brand Nubian
, the album was a minor success, helped by MTV and BET airplay of its singles. However, Sub-Roc was fatally injured in 1993 when he was struck by a car, and Elektra
canceled the release of K.M.D.
's follow-up, the even more serious and militant Bl_ck B_st_rds, an album whose cover art alone (featuring a Little Black Sambo-ish cartoon character being hanged) spelled the end of the group's contract.
With the album in limbo, Dumile went underground for five years, "recovering from his wounds" and swearing revenge "against the industry that so badly deformed him," according to his official bio, a reworking of Dr. Doom's origin. Meanwhile, Bl_ck B_st_rds was heavily bootlegged and Zev Love's legend grew, but few knew at first that the rapper who began showing up at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 1997, freestyling with a stocking covering his face, was actually Zev. The imaginative MC finally ended the mystery in 1999, resurfacing in his new identity as MF Doom and making up for lost time with a critically praised album, Operation: Doomsday, on the indie label Fondle 'Em Records
. The following year saw the long-awaited official release of Bl_ck B_st_rds (complete with Sambo-style cover art), as well as several singles and an EP with fellow rhymer MF Grimm
. In 2001, SubVerse
re-released Operation: Doomsday and Bl_ck B_st_rds.
A wealth of bootlegs, compilation appearances, mixtapes, and instrumental albums (the beloved-by-DJs Special Herbs series) surfaced over the years, but no follow-up full-length arrived until Doom introduced his alter ego, King Geedorah
, in 2003 with Take Me To Your Leader. This was swiftly followed by Vaudeville Villain, credited to another moniker, Viktor Vaughn
. His team-up with the multi-talented Madlib
and their April 2004 release, Madvillainy, drew rave reviews (eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed hip-hop albums of the decade). Four months later, Venomous Villain marked the return of Viktor Vaughn
, and the second MF Doom album, MM...Food?, appeared in November the same year. The formerly promo-only Live from Planet X got its aboveground release in March of 2005, with Special Herbs, Vols. 9-10 following in July. By the end of the year, The Mouse and the Mask, Doom's collaboration with Danger Mouse
under the name Danger Doom
, was released in association with Adult Swim. Featuring guest appearances by several Adult Swim-affiliated cartoon characters, the album was a critical and commercial success, hitting the top 50 of the Billboard 200.
Before issuing his next full-length album, 2009's Born Like This, the rapper shortened his pseudonym to DOOM
and collaborated with Ghostface and Raekwon
, both of whom appeared on the album. By the end of the year he released Unexpected Guests, a compilation focusing on his guest features that appeared elsewhere. The live album Expektoration followed in 2010, as did the Gazzillion Ear EP, which boasted remixes by Radiohead
's Thom Yorke
and MC/producer Jneiro Jarel
. Dumile was denied re-entry into the United States once his tour wrapped up, so he settled in the U.K., where he was born. He formed JJ DOOM
, and the duo's debut album, Key to the Kuffs, appeared in 2012, with guests including Beth Gibbons
and Damon Albarn
. He then collaborated with Bishop Nehru
, issuing a self-titled album in 2014.
then guested on tracks by Kool Keith
, the Avalanches
, and BadBadNotGood
, in addition to reuniting with Madlib
for the 2016 single "Avalanche." In August of 2017, Adult Swim announced the release of The Missing Notebook Rhymes, a digital compilation of unreleased DOOM
tracks. One track was to be released each week over the course of three months; however, in late September, Adult Swim ended their relationship with DOOM
, and the project was canceled. In 2018, DOOM
's full-length collaboration with hip-hop supergroup Czarface
(consisting of Wu-Tang Clan
's Inspectah Deck
and 7L & Esoteric
), Czarface Meets Metal Face, was released by Get On Down
. ~ Dan LeRoy & Paul Simpson, Rovi