MF DOOM (also known as DOOM, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, etc.) is a particularly Troperiffic rapper
DOOM, born Daniel Dumile
, had some success as a rapper in the early '90s under the name Zev Love X. However, the tragic loss of his brother in a car accident
in 1994 caused him to retreat from the hip-hop world and sink into a deep depression. He eventually became homeless on the streets of New York; in interviews, he describes himself in this period as "recovering from his wounds" and swearing revenge "against the industry that so badly deformed him." If this sounds like a Super Villain origin story
, well, the similarity didn't escape him either. When he recovered and returned to the world of hip-hop he adopted the identity of MF DOOM, an Expy
of the Fantastic Four
villain Doctor Doom
. DOOM has consistently worn a Cool Mask
since he returned to performing; it is nearly impossible to find pictures of him from after 1998 or so in which he shows his face.
DOOM's raps often play with the ideas of the Super Hero
and Super Villain
, or use those tropes to deconstruct
hip-hop culture. His lyrics are marked by a vast knowledge of popular culture, and commonly allude to Science Fiction
, Western Animation
, and Comic Book
characters. In addition to the Fantastic Four
mythos from which his identity is borrowed (and from where he gets a lot of hilarious samples
of people complaining about "Doom") he's fond of Star Trek
, commonly comparing himself to Worf. The potential for Narm
in this is tempered by DOOM's lyrical skill and playfulness and support by a range of excellent producers. DOOM maintains a good degree of popularity in both underground and mainstream hip-hop circles: his 2004 album Madvillainy with producer Madlib is regarded by some as a classic.
In 2005, MF DOOM and hip-hop producer Danger Mouse
collaborated as DANGERDOOM on The Mouse And The Mask
, an album produced in cooperation with [adult swim]
. The album featured songs explicitly about Space Ghost Coast to Coast
, Aqua Teen Hunger Force
, and Perfect Hair Forever
(for which DOOM had done voice acting), and other raps on the album made reference to InuYasha
, and Futurama
. Voice actors from various [adult swim]
shows made contributions, and samples from [adult swim]
shows permeate throughout.Discography:
- As MF DOOM
- Operation: Doomsday (1999)
- Mm... Food (2004)
- Live From Planet X (2005)
- Born Like This (2009)note
- Unexpected Guests (2009)
- Gazzillion Ear EP (2010)
- As King Geedorah
- Take Me To Your Leader (2003)
- As Viktor Vaughn
- Vaudeville Villain (2003)
- Venomous Villian (2004)
- With Madlib as Madvillain
- Madvillainy (2004)
- Madvillainy 2 - The Madlib Remix (2008)
- With Danger Mouse as DANGERDOOM
- The Mouse And The Mask (2005)
- Occult Hymn (2006)
- With J Dilla and Ghostface Killah
- With Jneiro Jarel as JJ DOOM
MF DOOM makes use of the tropes:
- Alliterative Name: Daniel Dumile, also Viktor Vaughn
- Comics Rule Everything Around Me
- Cool Mask
- Doomy Dooms of Doom
- Frame Break: In the music video for All Caps (which takes the form of an animated comicbook), the main character escapes from confinement by jumping hard enough to break through the bottom of every panel all the way down to the bottom of the page.
- Have a Gay Old Time: The clips used in the intro to Batty Boyz.
Sharpen up your spirit of adventure! The fabulous gay way!
- Homage: The MF DOOM persona to Dr. Doom. Viktor Vaughn is also a Dr. Doom allusion.
- I Have Many Names: Not uncommon among rappers, but DOOM does it more than the average.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: His real name is actually prounced Daniel "Doom-eel-ay."
- Malevolent Masked Men: Lampshaded to hell and back. Specifically, in The Mouse and the Mask's "Basket Case", where DOOM feebly defends himself by saying "Just since some people wear a mask doesn't mean that they did something."
- Money, Dear Boy: As DOOM has admitted to XXL, the main motivation behind The Mouse and the Mask was money.
- My Nayme Is: "And remember, ALL CAPS when you spell the man's name."
- One of Us: About the strongest example one can find outside of nerdcore.
- Real Life Writes the Album: Keys to the Kuff came about partially because DOOM was stuck in London and unable to return to the US due to visa issues while on tour in Europe.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Dude drops some big, big words here and there.
- From "Guv'nor"
Catch a throatful from the fire vocaled
Ash and molten glass like Eyjafjallajökull
The volcano outta Iceland
- From "All Outta Ale"
One for the money, two for the better green
Three four methylenedioxymethamphetamine
- Shout-Out: Frequent in his songs.
- Start of Darkness: Several tracks on Operation: DOOMSDAY expound on DOOM's backstory using sound clips from The Fantastic Four (1967).
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: He has a habit of acting like he's about to say something vulgar only to trail off and begin the next line with something that rhymes with the obscenity you were expecting. A couple of examples:
- From "Batty Boyz"
Wrote this lyric from in the bed with a chick
She had the tightest grip around the head of my...
Bic, now I can't get my pen back
- From "Space Ho's"
That destructo ray's a played out gag
And the cape and the pantsuit looking like a straight out...
Dag! Don't mean to sound crunchy
- Not quite the same thing, but from "Great Day"
Last wish, I wish I had two more wishes
And I wish they fixed the door to the Matrix, there's mad glitches
Spit so many verses sometimes my jaw twitches
One thing this party could use is more...
Booze, put yourself in your own shoes
- Super Villain: Screwed around with in every way possible.
- Talking to Himself: Madvillain's "Fancy Clown" features the persona Viktor Vaughn dissing someone for fooling around with his girl. That someone is his alter ego MF DOOM.
- Theme Naming: The titles of all the songs on his "Mm...Food?" album have some reference to food in them.
- Unreliable Narrator: Can you keep track of all the reasons he's given for wearing a mask? Because he probably can't.
- Vaporware: The long-awaited "Swift & Changeable" collaboration between DOOM and Ghostface.
- Word Salad Lyrics: A lot of his stuff just sounds cool, even though it doesn't mean anything.