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MF Doom

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AboutDaniel Dumile is an American hip hop artist who has taken on several stage names in his career - originally Zev Love X, most famously MF DOOM, and in side projects as King Geedorah, Metal Fingers and Viktor Vaughn.

He was born in Southeast London, England on January 9, 1971 to a
Zimbabwean father and a Trinidadian mother; the family moved to New York and lived in Long Island where he was raised.

As Zev Love X, he formed the group KMD with his younger brother Subroc and another MC called Onyx The Birthstone Kid. Originally, "KMD" stood for "Kausing Much Damage," but before their first album they changed it to "a positive Kause in a Much Damaged society." His debut on record came when he appeared on the song "The Gas Face" from The Cactus Album by the rap group 3rd Bass. A&R Dante Ross learned of KMD from 3rd Bass, and signed them to Elektra Records.[1] In 1991 KMD released their album Mr. Hood, which became a minor hit through its singles "Peachfuzz", "Who Me?" and heavy video play on cable TV's Yo! MTV Raps and Rap City. The group is seen today as a part of the genre of conscious hip hop outings, along with labelmates Brand Nubian, Poor Righteous Teachers, and early De La Soul.

In 1997, he began appearing at the Nuyorican Poets Café at open mic events for rappers, although few people knew that the man freestyling with a stocking over his face was the former Zev. The imaginative MC began using the new identity MF DOOM, inspired by the Marvel Comics supervillain, Dr. Doom from the Fantastic Four comic, using a metal mask while performing and refusing to be photographed without it ("MF" stands for "metal face". MF Grimm used the same initials but this stands for "Mad Flows").

The release of Operation: Doomsday in 1999 by independent label Fondle 'Em marked the official turning point for Dumile in his reinvention of himself from a major label recording artist of minor status to independent artist, where he would find his greatest success while maintaining the most control over his music.

Operation: Doomsday was received very well by underground listeners and was re-released in 2000 by SubVerse Music. In December of 2000 Dumile shot two music videos for the album's re-release, his first two videos in nearly a decade. "Dead Bent" and "?" featuring Kurious Jorge were shot in New York City by video artist PISTON HONDA. They received limited airplay on cable access video channels and a skateboard culture video called "Lunchbox" in the US. MTV France however, played both videos in rotation. The following year, he began releasing albums of instrumental work, a series known as Special Herbs for several small record labels under the name Metal Fingers. He created an additional alter-ego King Geedorah as a member of Monsta Island Czars, a group consisting of MF Grimm and (currently) 13 other underground New York emcees who released their debut album in 2003. It appears that his tenure in the Monsta Island Czars is now over.

MF DOOM was still far below the radar of mainstream press when two albums were released under new aliases in 2003. The first was Vaudeville Villain, released under the name Viktor Vaughn on Sound-Ink Records, and the second was King Geedorah's Take Me To Your Leader, released by Big Dada/Ninja Tune. Viktor Vaughn appears as solely a rap project - he has no production or executive producer credit on the album, but raps throughout the album - and alternately, King Geedorah is a conceptual production project. Although he raps on few of the songs on Take Me To Your Leader, the album is produced entirely by MF DOOM. Several of his long time collaborators appear as MCs.

DOOM's first commercial breakthrough came in 2004, with the album Madvillainy together with producer Madlib under the group name Madvillain. Released by Stones Throw Records, the album was a critical and commercial success. MF DOOM was seen by mainstream audiences for the first time as Madvillain received publicity and acclaim in publications such as Rolling Stone, New York Times, The New Yorker, and Spin. A video for "All Caps" and a 4-date U.S. tour followed the release of Madvillainy. An additional video for "Rhinestone Cowboy" and a segment from the tour are shown on the DVD Stones Throw 101.

DOOM was featured on the 2004 De La Soul release The Grind Date, MF DOOM rapping on the track "Rock Co.Kane Flow", which was also released as a single. Late in the year, DOOM's second solo album MM..Food? was released by the Minnesota-based label Rhymesayers Entertainment, using various food items to metaphorically explain life and himself. As Viktor Vaughn he released his sophomore effort Venomous Villain (also called VV2), an album which received mixed reviews. Many criticised the production values, which were considered inferior to DOOM's recent work. Also criticised was its length: 33 minutes, only 10 of which feature DOOM.

In 2005 MF DOOM took another step towards the mainstream (while maintaining his independent artist status) with The Mouse and the Mask, a collaboration with producer DJ Danger Mouse released under the group name DangerDoom. The album was released on October 11, 2005 and frequently references characters from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. He also voiced the giraffe named Sherman in Adult Swim's Perfect Hair Forever; not coincidentally a song on The Mouse and the Mask called "Perfect Hair" references the cartoon extensively. Perfect Hair Forever did not debut officially on Adult Swim until a month after Danger Doom, so many listeners might not have understood the references to Coiffio and Mt. Tuna. Also on this album, MF DOOM dissed M.I.C and MF Grimm in a song called "El Chupa Nibre" when he referred to the group as "midgets into crunk". MF Grimm featured a retaliatory track, "The Book of Daniel," as the closing track on his 2006 triple album, American Hunger.

In 2005, MF DOOM appeared on two other Danger Mouse-produced projects: the Gorillaz album "Demon Days", rapping on the song "November Has Come", and Danger Mouse's remix of Zero 7's "Somersault". In 2004 he appeared on the track "Social Distortion" by Prince Po, which was produced by Danger Mouse.

MF DOOM produced four tracks on Ghostface Killah's Fishscale album released in April (despite having used those beats on previous projects, and two tracks on Ghostface Killah's More Fish. The two are also currently at work on a collaboration album called "Swift & Changeable". One of their collaborations which may or may not appear on that album called "Angeles" appeared on a Nature Sounds compilation. DOOM is also planning to make another Madvillain album with producer Madlib, with one song, Monkey Suite, first appearing on the Adult Swim/Stones Throw Records album Chrome Children. He is also featured in the single 'More Soup' with rapper Moka Only from the group Swollen Members.

He also plans to make another Dangerdoom album with Danger Mouse. Also planned is another solo release, a new record under his alter ego Viktor Vaughn, a new King Geedorah album and a new album under the KMD name.

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