Since the advent of Hip-Hop culture and rap music, there have been thousands of emcees that could’ve and would’ve been all-time greats if it were not for some unfortunate twists. Indeed, such is life. However, unlike your everyday strap-hanger, these lost emcees and fem-cees may have had a toe in the door, their dreams perched atop a column bathed in golden light just out of arm’s reach. If not for life rudely snatching their respective career collars, we may have witnessed a great one instead of their old dat tapes being left to languish in the storage of a now defunct imprint.
The late ’80s, early ’90s are considered the Golden Age of Hip-Hop for many reasons. Primarily, this timeframe is celebrated for originality, unique cadence, wordplay, storytelling, scratching, unfettered sampling, subject diversity and experimentation, among other things.
The group KMD was founded in 1988 when brothers DJ Subroc and Zev Love X joined with an emcee named Rodan, who was later replaced by Onyx the Birthstone Kid. They got major buzz when appearing on the hit 3rd Bass song “The Gas Face”.
After the release of Mr. Hood, which garnered decent rotation on Yo! MTV Raps for singles “Peachfuzz” and “Who Me?” in 1991 it seemed like things were heading upward for KMD. But life is full of curve balls..
FROM THE ALBUM “MR. HOOD” (1991).
Tragedy and heartbreak would strike in the same week in 1993 when DJ Subroc was struck and killed while attempting to cross the Nassau Expressway. The label had already shelved KMD’s sophomore project, Black Bastards, due to what was deemed controversial cover art, which depicted a sambo character being hanged.
With the death of Subroc and being booted from Elektra Records the same week, Zev Love X struggled through a crippling wave of depression that resulted in his withdrawal from Hip-Hop while teetering on the brink of homeless for three years.
As legend has it, his first re-emergence occurred at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in East Harlem in ’97. He used a woman’s pantyhose to obscure his identity like bank robbers in 1970’s cinematic crime capers.
Eventually he took the moniker MF DOOM, patterned after the Marvel Comics character Dr. Doom. To fans of comic books, though Dr. Doom is often depicted as an egomaniacal would-be world dictator, the character is actually one of the most intelligent, eloquent and passionate villains in all of comic book-dom. Indeed, while everyone was running around calling themselves thugs, gangsters and drug kingpins, DOOM would circumnavigate the cult of personality simply by fashioning his alter ego after a supervillain.
Uploaded by The Hip Hop Hendrix on 2013-07-30.
His first album, Operation: Doomsday, released in ’99 after several hot singles perforated the mixtape circuit, features Dr. Doom on the cover rocking the microphone. Clever. Eventually, DOOM would settle upon a chrome-like mask fashioned after those in the action film Gladiator.
When everyone was following the beat of another’s drum, DOOM was brilliant and determined enough to carve out his own path.
However, the multifaceted DOOM would conjure two other identities and release albums under the monikers Viktor Vaugh, meant to be a younger version of DOOM himself as is a play on Dr. Doom’s alter ego Victor Von Doom, and King Geedorah, fashioned after the three-headed monster from TOHO films that often tussled with Godzilla, is meant to convey how DOOM is so nice on beats, turntables and on the microphone that he is reminiscent of a three-headed monster.
From Operation: Doomsday to Madvilliany and beyond, DOOM’s wordplay, cadence and beat selection are so original yet so drastically different from what came before that you just might think you were listening to a brand new MC if you didn’t read the liner notes. He is so much into his supervillain persona that he has even taken up certain personality traits of Dr. Doom and incorporated them into his show. Dr. Doom is famous for sending his identical “Doombots” to carry out his deeds. Oftentimes, the Doombots are so convincing that its true nature isn’t revealed until several issues later.
1. El Chupa Nibre 0:00 2. Sofa King 2:34 3. The Mask [Featuring] – Ghostface 5:33 4. Perfect Hair 8:33 5. Benzie Box [Featuring] – Cee-Lo 10:47 6. Old School [Featuring] – Talib Kweli 13:47 7. A.T.H.F 16:27 8. Basket Case 19:30 9. No Names 22:05 10. Crosshairs 25:12 11.
Our real world DOOM was actually accused of sending Doom impostors, or “Doombots”, to perform live shows on his behalf. Though initially denied by DOOM, this ploy was admitted to by his road manager. At one show, the Doombot was booed off stage before being replaced by DOOM himself. Hilarious!
DOOM released six solo albums, two lives albums, four compilation albums, nine collaboration albums dating back to Mr. Hood with KMD, four EP’s and seven instrumental albums that are comprised of nothing but his beats. For the newcomer into the world of DOOM, he is all Hip-Hop, all underground and all unapologetic.
You may get offended as he takes potshots at every racial, ethnic, gender or gender subgroup imaginable, you may want to a look up a few words that he uses that you might not recognize due his lengthy vocabulary, you may think he’s silly for running around with that metal mask on.
Fan made music video. MF DOOM as King Geedorah.
But you will nod your head and have a far better idea of what it is to be a true emcee than you had previously. No matter what, I can assure you he’s like nothing you’ve ever heard or will hear.
New Shit! Some old Doom sketches of mine thrown in tooooo
Below is a discography of the vaunted works of Viktor Vaughn.
1999: Operation: Doomsday
2003: Take Me to Your Leader (as King Geedorah)
2003: Vaudeville Villain (as Viktor Vaughn)
2004: Venomous Villain (as Viktor Vaughn)
2004: Mm.. Food
2009: Born Like This (as DOOM)
2005: Live from Planet X
2004: Special Blends 1+2
2006: Special Herbs: The Box Set Vol. 0-9
2009: Unexpected Guests
1991: Mr. Hood (as Zev Love X with KMD)
1993: Black Bastards (as Zev Love X with KMD)
2003: Escape from Monsta Island! (as King Geedorah with Monsta Island Czars)
2004: Special Herbs and Spices Volume 1 (with MF Grimm)
2004: Madvillainy (with Madlib as Madvillain)
2005: The Mouse and the Mask (with Danger Mouse as Danger Doom)
2008: Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix (with Madlib as Madvillain)
2012: Key to the Kuffs (with Jneiro Jarel as JJ Doom)
2014: NehruvianDoom (with Bishop Nehru as NehruvianDOOM)
2000: MF EP (with MF Grimm)
2006: Occult Hymn (with Danger Mouse as Danger Doom)
2008: MF Doom & Trunks Presents Unicron (with Trunks)
2014: Bookhead EP (with Jneiro Jarel as JJ Doom)
2001: Special Herbs, Vol. 1
2002: Special Herbs, Vol. 2
2002: Special Herbs, Vol. 3
2003: Special Herbs, Vol. 4
2003: Special Herbs, Vols. 4, 5 & 6
2004: Special Herbs, Vols. 7 & 8
2005: Special Herbs, Vols. 9 & 0