Underground hip-hop titan MF DOOM (born Daniel Dumile) has died, according to a statement from his family. Dumile was 49 years old.
The statement, written by Dumile’s wife, Jasmine Dumile, was shared first on Instagram Thursday, then via MF DOOM’s verified Twitter account.
The cause of Dumile’s death was not disclosed, but the statement notes that he “Transitioned October 31, 2020.”
The masked rapper is best known for releasing a pair of the best (hip-hop) albums of the 2000s, and in the same year, no less: 2004’s Madlib collaboration Madvillainy and indispensable DOOM solo album MM…FOOD.
Dumile first released music as a member of rap group KMD in 1991, then made his solo debut (as Metal Face Doom) in 1999 with Operation: Doomsday. He would later share solo releases under pseudonyms King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn.
His last solo album was 2009’s Born Like This, which he followed with various expanded reissues and collaborations, including his 2018 Czarface team-up Czarface Meets Metal Face.
Just this week, he released “The Chocolate Conquistadors,” his and BadBadNotGood’s reimagining of Johnny Hammond’s “Los Conquistadors Chocolates.”
Dumile’s Doctor Doom-esque mask was his trademark, lending him an air of mystery that made him seem larger than life—imposters were known to stand in for him and deliver live performances on occasion, with comedian Hannibal Buress impersonating him at a festival as a prank in 2019.
“I wanted to get onstage and orate, without people thinking about the normal things people think about. Like girls being like, ‘Oh, he’s sexy,’ or ‘I don’t want him, he’s ugly,’ and then other dudes sizing you up,” Dumile told The New Yorker of his alter ego in 2009. “A visual always brings a first impression. But if there’s going to be a first impression I might as well use it to control the story. So why not do something like throw a mask on?”
Read the complete statement from Dumile’s family below.
Begin all things by giving thanks to THE ALL!
The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for. Thank you for all the things you have shown, taught and given to me, our children and our family. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive beings and give another chance, not to be so quick to judge and write off. Thank you for showing how not to be afraid to love and be the best person I could ever be. My world will never be the same without you. Words will never express what you and Malachi mean to me, I love both and adore you always. May THE ALL continue to bless you, our family and the planet.
All my Love
Transitioned October 31,2020