EHS Students Remember the Legacy of Legendary Rapper MF DOOM

Noah Range, A&E Editor

The end of 2020, a terrible year for many, was a crushing moment for fans of MF DOOM. The rapper’s wife announced his death via Instagram on Dec. 31, 2020.

Madvillain, King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn. These names are aliases for the enigmatic, masked MC Daniel Dumile, commonly known as MF DOOM. Notable for his intricate rhyme schemes, clever wordplay and eccentric production style, MF DOOM’s discography is one of the most influential and critically acclaimed of any rapper in his lane; he is often referred to as “your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.”

After years of success, Dumile’s career came to a tragic halt with his death at 49 years old, leaving many of his fans in shock. He died on Halloween of 2020, but news of his death was not released until the end of the year.

“It seemed to come out of nowhere,” senior Allison Naylor said. “I saw it on Instagram stories and my jaw seriously dropped.”

The cause of death remains unknown, and only those close to Dumile know about his health conditions before he passed away.

“I had no idea he was facing health problems, which made it even more difficult,” senior Kelton Lee said.

The music he made during his lifetime positively impacted countless listeners around the world. Many learned more about music and deepened their appreciation of art through his raps.

“His obscure sampling introduced me to Frank Zappa. He sampled [Zappa’s] ‘Sleeping in a Jar’ on ‘Meat Grinder’ and I absolutely loved it,” senior Sean Shaffer said.

Like Shaffer, senior Jack Bostick also broadened his horizons after being introduced to Dumile’s work.

“I used to pretty much only listen to rock music but MF DOOM is one of the artists that has gotten me into listening to a lot more hip-hop and rap music,” Bostick said. “[His music] helped me want to expand my music taste more and has made me want to give different genres of music a listen.”

His music has done so much more than open people’s minds to other possibilities; his music possesses such a charm that many people’s favorite musical memories involve MF DOOM.

“When I first started listening to his music, one of the first songs I listened to was ‘Rapp Snitch Knishes,’ and I just have a good memory of listening to it and really enjoying it,” Bostick said. “It made me want to dive deeper into his discography. Anytime that it comes on when I play music I really enjoy it and it takes me back to that memory.”

Sometimes DOOM’s songs aren’t associated with a specific memory, but they can remind listeners of pleasant times.

“One of my favorite songs by him is called ‘Licorice,’ and it just reminds me of taking a stroll down the street on a nice day or driving with the windows down,” Naylor said.

While Dumile positively affected the lives of legions of fans, he also left a major mark on hip-hop and music as a whole.

His unconventional approach to production and rhyming influenced the work of many other musicians, such as Tyler The Creator, Logic, Drake and countless other rappers, according to Medium.

“The legacy he left behind is one of the greatest careers a rapper could possibly have,” Shaffer said. “I remember when MF DOOM was just his own category of music at one point and it seems these last five years people have really picked up on him and I’m glad.”

Although he may be gone, his artwork, memory and impact will never fade away.

“I think he will be remembered as a pioneer of experimental rap and hip-hop as a whole,” sophomore Josh Daly said. “As long as hip-hop stays, DOOM’s music will be remembered.”