When asked who the most skilled underground rapper is, most self-respecting hip hop heads would answer MF DOOM. The metal faceplate wearing figure easily developed a cult-like following with his ability to weave vicious internal rhyme schemes with his raspy voice.
His “alter ego” persona, an aggregation of comic book villains from Dr. Doom to Destro, was a both literal and metaphorical mask to hide himself against the even more treacherous industry that abandoned him.
MF DOOM first made a name for himself as Zev Love X, a founding member of the golden-era hip-hop group KMD. The group also included Zev Love’s brother DJ Subroc, who would die tragically in a car accident before the release of their second album, 1993’s Black Bastards. As the album’s release was delayed by his label for years and KMD’s future hung in limbo, Dumile drifted, often on the edge of homelessness, as he revealed to WIRE in 2005.
Then, with the 1999 release of Operation: Doomsday he began a creative rebirth that would continue with the release of a string of projects and spin-off DOOM aliases and collaborations (Metal Fingers, King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, etc.)
But DOOM always planned to revisit his hip-hop beginnings, and now he’s returned to do just that.
In a preview of the first KMD record in nearly a quarter century, MF DOOM tag teams with Jay Electronica on the cut “True Lightyears.” The song is the second track in a 15-song collaborative project between DOOM and Adult Swim’s Singles Program called The Missing Notebook Rhymes, which will be releasing a song per week over the next 3 months. The track also doubles as a lead single from the upcoming KMD LP Crack In Time, released via Metalface/Nature Sounds.
It’s a full-circle return for DOOM, as he envelopes his villainous alter-ego back into the origin story that provoked his rebirth. Jay Electronica, a hip-hop recluse in his own right, joins DOOM on the track with an equally stunning opening verse.
Check out the track below.