For many, New Year’s Eve 2020 suddenly became disheartening as a certain news story broke just hours before the ball dropped. Legendary rapper MF Doom had passed away at the age of 49.
The news came from his official Instagram account in a post written by his wife.
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This announcement, like much of the man’s life and career, was mysterious. Jasmine, Daniel Dumile’s wife, wrote in the post that he passed on October 31st, 2020. For over two months, knowledge of his death was kept from the public and his millions of fans. During this period, his Instagram and Twitter accounts remained active, keeping up the appearance that Doom was still alive. He even had new music released.
Adding to the strangeness of the situation, no cause of death has been revealed to the public. Neither his family nor anyone close to him has released information about how or why Doom’s life came to such an early end. Fans have speculated about his death being Covid related but for no other reason than the fact that cases in the U.S. were on the rise around October.
The details of MF Doom’s personal life have been kept secret to a greater extent than possibly any other rapper in history, especially when it comes to death. In 1993, at the start of his career, Doom’s brother was hit and killed by a car. In addition, the album he and his brother worked on together before the accident was canceled by his record label. This caused Doom to disappear for the next five years and almost nothing is known about where he was or what he did during that time. He’s commented on the time saying he was “damn near homeless, walking the streets of Manhattan, sleeping on benches.”
Doom returned in 1999 and continued his career throughout the 2000s and 2010s dropping some of the most influential records in all of underground hip-hop. MF Doom was a character created by Daniel Dumile, his real name. He wore an intimidating metal mask on stage and at all times when a camera could be pointed at him. Like the Marvel villain Dr. Doom which inspired the character, MF Doom was an evil mastermind after world domination and Dumile did a fantastic job of giving us that character through his writing and his actions in the real world. He refused to reveal much personal information in interviews and even sent imposters to dress up like him and attend concerts or events just to have them purposefully reveal themselves so the audience would know they were tricked.
In 2017, Doom’s 14-year-old son passed away and in the same fashion, no details or cause of death was given.
MF Doom was one of the most strange and unique characters in hip-hop and even in death, he got to play one final trick with the upkeep of his social media and release of his new music in December.