The Poetry of MF Doom – Part 2

By the early 2000’s MF Doom had accrued much acclaim from the community, with flow being one of the main things that separate him from competitors. The way he delivers his lines if far more like talking than many other rappers in the scene. As people began to elaborate on the style and speed their rhymes up to incomprehensible levels other began to add song and melody to their delivery. MF Doom on the other hand held strong in his style, his deep voice and rhythmic cadences managing to deliver short stories to the listener in a delightfully palatable fashion. His voice now is easily recognisable amongst anyone who listens, which makes some of his side projects a strange choice.

Among the other great things Doom is known for is his multiple monikers. Credited on operation Doomsday as MF Doom, Metal Fingers and King Geedorah all at once. These other identities began to release material of their own. ‘Take Me to Your Leader’ is a King Geedorah album which showcases many of Dooms fingerprints. The choice of long skits and lo-fi samples are staples of track produced by Doom, so why bother with the name change? It seems that ironically the man behind the mask may have been having an identity crisis even without his face being shown. These albums and side projects could well have been released to monetise his works while keeping his main name or ‘brand’ clean so to speak. This way any B-sides and alternative themed content left from his main LP’s can be delivered to the public while MF Doom remains removed from whatever critical reception they may receive. It is a wise move, and yet an odd one for an artist already so concealed from the public eye.

From here identities continued to evolve as did collaborations. Now his work with other artists would come with new identities too. An album with Madlib would be released under Madvillian and one with Producer Dangermouse would arrive under Dangerdoom. These constantly shifting guises made it hard for listeners to keep up with Dooms work in the early ages of the internet, all until they heard his signature vocals on each track that is. This album (The Mouse and the Mask) in fact helped cement his alignment with comedy and animation. Adult Swim itself was associated with the record, allowing samples and voice actors from the show to feature prominently throughout. Each track riffs on a different show and features little tales that fans will appreciate, delivered in undiluted Doom form. It seems Doom finds solace in the crazy, episodic and everlasting images that inhabit the small screen.

Recently, exiled back to his homeland Doom has not let down with releases. Working with groups like Gorillaz, Jneiro Jarel and more recently a suitable tag team with other pop culture enthusiasts Czarface. Though in December 2017 another tragedy struck, his Son Malachi passed away. Though no releases have spawned since this earth-shattering event, Doom remains more than capable of expressing himself through the written word. This complex and secretive individual, who chose the identity of a powerful man who is also broken, has already bounced back after something others simply could not cope with – so I imagine we can expect an incredible release soon from this outstanding artist.