MF Doom (or Doom as he’s now called having seemingly dropped the “Metal Face” part of his name) used to be called Zev Love X and was in one of my favourite hip hop groups KMD, alongside his younger brother DJ Subroc. After his brother was killed in a car accident, and having been dropped by Elektra records in the same week(!) Doom went off the rails and disappeared from the hip hop scene for a good while, alledgedly becoming homeless and wandering around New York before relocating to Atlanta.
He emerged years later as Doom, a kind of anti-superhero hiding his face behind a metal mask, and has been releasing nonsensical and off the wall albums ever since. It’s pretty much like it or leave it stuff and I have to admit I like what he’s doing. His lyrics are full of cartoon references and oddball characters and he does actually have an action figure of one of his alter-egos Madvillain. So tonight we get a selection of tunes from his various alter-egos but as he tends to do all his own production, it all sounds pretty much the same :-).
This gig was always going to be exactly as I expected, Doom doing one song after the other with little talk in between except near the end when he asked what other songs we wanted to hear. The venue is packed, this sold out ages ago and tickets were £25 – a testament to the mystique Doom has managed to create around his persona, not really because he’s a fantastic MC. (It’s rumoured that sometimes he sends someone else to perform his gigs as you can’t tell who’s behind the mask, so there was some debate as to whether we would be seeing the real deal here tonight or not). He does have an incredibly distinctive voice though, as he did in the KMD days and everything he does tonight goes down really well. It’s just not as exciting as other hip hop gigs I’ve been to recently (he’s never going to match KRS1 or M.O.P for intensity and energy but it’s probably not even worth comparing). Doom is what he is and it was entertaining while it lasted. He did play for a reasonable amount of time and got through a lot of tunes so you can’t complain.
I just miss KMD though… (DJ Subroc r.i.p. and p.i.p. party in peace).
And the KMD single “Peachfuzz”, always makes me want to dig out their classic debut album from 1991: