Thursday, August 14, 2008
Who is the Real MF Doom?
The veteran rapper formerly known as Zev Love X -- the front man for defunct 90s rap group KMD -- has been accused repeatedly of using impostors to perform in his stead as the rapping entity known as MF Doom.
MF Doom, who's image is modeled after Marvel Comics villain Dr. Doom, is a 30-something year old rapper from Long Island who, since 1997, has been recording and performing music in disguise, with the disguise consisting of the metal mask.
In the beginning it was weird, but after Doom went on a eight year tear of releasing and producing incredible music for everyone from Nigerian singer Wale Oyejide to Ghostface, no one cared what he looked like anymore. It was all about the music.
Until the summer of 2007, that is, when Doom was part of the Rock the Bells tour and the first accusations surfaced of him not being the person who was performing on stage.
Of course the person performing was wearing a mask, so nothing was ever confirmed, and eventually the the rumors somewhat faded away.
But now, just about a year after the first rumors circulated through the Hiphop community, they seem to have made quite a triumphant return. In this case, at another Rock the Bells show, this one in San Bernardino, Calif.
The following videos show Doom (or his impostor) at the show in question strutting around and posturing on stage, but the fans get hip to the game real quick and call him out in the form of boos and throwing objects at whoever is on stage. You can even hear an angry fan saying "I didn't pay for this sh*t!"
Because of the high quality of his music I couldn't believe the rumors when I first heard them. Hell, when I saw Doom at the 930 Club in DC in 2005 I was convinced it was really him.
But that was before the rumors.
Whoever was on stage and rapping sounded just like Doom, and it was obvious the person was rapping live. And, since I remember what Zev Love X looked like, I tried my best to peek through the small cracks in the metal mask, eventually deciding it was indeed the real MF Doom.
But when my homeboy in San Fran -- who discovered Doom just around the same time as I, and who has been heavily into Hiphop since the early 80s -- called me after an MF Doom show there and said that his opinion was that it was not Doom who performed at his show, I finally lent some credence to the possibility that Doom could indeed be duping us all.
Granted, the music is the most important thing, and it is not being compromised at all if the rumor is true. But for an independent artist, it does beg the question why he wouldn't want to go out on tour himself and earn 100% of the payment for performance. I am assuming, of course, that Doom's impostor took home a share of Doom's payment.
Regardless, like I said it's all about the music. He hasn't put any new music out in a while; since the accusations of fraud, not ironically.
I say we just enjoy Doom for the music and if we see he's on the bill for a local show, don't go. If no one shows up to his shows he will eventually stop getting booked and get back in the studio.
Until that happens, enjoy some more footage of Doom performing live.