Daniel Dumile is known by many names; Metal Face, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, and most notably MF DOOM. The British-born New York rapper has released multiple critically acclaimed albums under many names over the years, collaborating with artists such as Madlib, Danger Mouse, Ghostface Killah, Czarface, and Bishop Nehru to name a few. The combination of his abstract lyrics, “between the lines” flows, comic book villain persona, and east coast boom bap beats creates a unique sound and atmosphere that can’t truly be found anywhere else.
Having never truly reached mainstream success, he found his audience in a large cult following of devoted fans, and most notably, career rappers. As the saying goes, “MF DOOM is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.” He has been mentioned in interviews as an inspiration and shouted out by rappers such as JPEGMAFIA, Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Freddie Gibbs, and, surprisingly, Drake (weird, right?). Although he is an obvious inspiration to a lot of these guys, most people aren’t aware of his immeasurable influence on the rap music of today. Even if you don’t care about rap history and the influences of your favorite artists, you should give MF DOOM a listen purely to understand why people such as myself won’t shut up about him. Here’s a playlist and a quick overview of my favorite albums of his to get you started:
- Madvillainy – A collaboration with producer Madlib, this is one of my favorite albums ever made. The beats on this thing are astounding, and the lyricism and flows are unmatched.
- Mm… Food – As the title suggests, it’s a food concept album, which seems weird until you remember that a supervillain is the MC. This album features production by DOOM himself as well as the iconic skits he is known for including in his albums.
- Vaudeville Villain – This album was released under the name Viktor Vaughn, and truly showcases DOOM’s sinister and villainous persona. He sounds faster and more energetic than on his other releases, which is definitely a nice change of pace from his usual laid-back flows.
- Operation Doomsday – This was Daniel’s first release under the MF DOOM moniker, and it honestly shows. To me it feels like a less refined version of Mm… Food, but that’s not to say it isn’t still worth a listen. In fact, the opening song, “Doomsday”, is his best song in my opinion.