The hip-hop community closed out the year 2020 with the shocking revelation about the passing of MF Doom. On December 31, in what started off to read as a dedication, a post was shared on MF DOOM’s verified Instagram account with a message from his wife, Jasmine, and revealing the masked rap icon passed away on October 31. Since the news of his passing, in the space of social media, several tributes have emitted from fans and fellow artists of DOOM including Busta Rhymes, Yasiin Bey, and MC Serch.
Busta Rhymes, who worked with MF DOOM back in 1991 on the KMD “Nitty Gritty” Remix featuring Brand Nubian, penned a heartfelt post on Instagram, ultimately thanking the late rapper for pioneering a sense of freedom for the emcees of the nineties. “THIS MAN HAS MEANT SOMETHING TO OUR CULTURE THAT NO OTHER MC HAS BECAUSE HE FIGURED OUT SOMETHING THAT NONE OF US HAS BEFORE HIM AND THAT WAS TO BE COMPLETELY FREE!!! WE ALL HAVE SOOOOOO MUCH TO STILL LEARN FROM THIS GREAT MIND!!,” Rhymes wrote.
Lord Jamar, Sadat X, and Grand Puba of Brand Nubian all paid tribute and shared their grievances on Instagram with posts seared in nostalgic moments. Under the stage name “Zev Love X” as a member of the hip-hop trio KMD, MF DOOM was signed to Elektra Records, which was also home to Brand Nubian. Lord Jamar shared the late rapper recently reached out to him about recording a song featuring Ghostface Killah. “We were label mates and went on our first tours together, you featured us on the song “Nitty Gritty” & just recently you reached out for me to record a song with you & Ghostface…this is pretty shocking, but I know you missed little bro this whole time, rest easy my friend,” Jamar wrote.
Former Tommy Boy and Elektra A&R executive Dante Ross, who signed KMD to Elektra in 1991, recalled the work of DOOM as being a creative emblem for Black men. Ross delved into his history with the KMD crew and highlighted his gratitude for their bond in an Instagram post. “Your life force was a metaphor for black men in this world. You took all the horse shit sent your way and created beautiful art with it. Tragedy was your fuel for reinvention. I will never forget any of it as long as I walk the earth,” Ross wrote. “I am deeply saddened right now, yet happy that I got to experience you during my lifetime a relationship I will forever cherish. I love everyone in this picture. All of my brothers here were special people.”
Together, Ghostface Killah and MF DOOM have brought to life one of the most anticipated collaborations for the hardcore hip-hop enthusiast. In 2005, the two rap icons announced the coming of their joint album under the duad DOOMSTARKS. Since, two singles from the foreseen project were released, “Victory Laps” (2011) and “Lively Hood” (2015). The Wu-Tang legend took to Instagram to lament on the news of DOOM’s transition:
Wu-Tang Clan’s Inspectah Deck also took to Instagram to pay tribute to MF DOOM. In 2018, as a member of hip-hop supergroup, Czarface, Inspectah Deck joined forces with MF DOOM and released the collaborative album Czarface Meets Metal Face. Deck took to Instagram and paid tribute to the late MF DOOM by sharing the cover art of Czarface Meets Metal Face. “I am proud to have had the pleasure and blessing of working with the great @mfdoom,” he wrote. “Rest easy my brother my condolences to the family and all loved ones #iwishyouapeacefuljourney.”
While under the pseudonym, Zev Love X, MF DOOM’s recording debut took place on 3rd Bass’ track, “The Gas Face” (1989). MC Serch of 3rd Bass penned a verbose tribute on Instagram recalling his history with KMD and bond with MF DOOM:
“I found out 12/31/2020 at 3:30pm and cried for most of the day. I have known Doom since he was 14 years old. We spent years going to park jams at the MLK Center. We went to Roosevelt Field Mall to kick it. We would go to Jones Beach and we were blocks from Long Beach. When I got sign it was all of us. GYP. The Get Yours Posse. I never asked Doom to wear a 3rd Bass shirt. He just did. The picture of him, Subroc (RIP) and PAC (RIP) was on tour with 3rd Bass. We all hung every night on the road, rhyming and forming what the plan would be. KMD was always his plan for him, his brother and then Onyx. He was a creator from the door. We got them a deal and they made Mr Hood. I was so proud of what they were building. KMD was an amazing show to see live. They were fun, opinionated, optimistic and political.”
Yasiin Bey, who revealed in 2019 that he is hoarding unreleased music with MF DOOM, took to his Instagram and shared a clip from 2014, where Bey is seen doing his own freestyle cover over Madvillain’s “All Caps.”
Lupe Fiasco deemed MF DOOM a “master” in a Twitter post, where he tweeted a proposal for current rappers to start referring to similes as “dumiles” in honor of MF DOOM’s signature style. Fiasco also shared his own cover freestyle of “Crosshairs” from the Dangerdoom album.