In the beginning, Zev Love X was originally half of the Rap duo KMD. It came as a shock when his group was dropped from Elektra Records back in 1994 because they’d been using variations of their soon to be released album’s artwork for close to a year before it was deemed too controversial for wide release.
Shortly afterwards, the “Peachfuzz” rapper’s younger brother, production partner and right hand Subroc, was struck by a car and killed, which sent Zev spiraling into depression. He’d lost someone who for all intents and purposes he considered his twin. His crew Constipated Monkeys survived the breakup of 3rd Bass but it would splinter and fall apart following Subroc’s death.
For years, Zev stayed off the grid before he finally got back into performing and recording under a new alias, MF DOOM. Zev (whose government name is Daniel Dumile) identified with the iconic masked Marvel Comics supervillain Dr. Doom. The mystique of Victor Von Doom when blended with Zev’s own back story made him the most intriguing MC since before Ghostface Killah stopped covering his face.
Longtime associate Bobbito Garcia played the new MF DOOM material on the Stretch & Bobbito Show on WKCR and it received a strong enough response that he decided to press up vinyl on his label Fondle Em Records. In 1997, vinyl singles for “Dead Bent”/“Gas Drawls”/“Hey!” and “Greenbacks”/“Go With The Flow” built a following that grew for about a year to the point MF DOOM material couldn’t stay on shelves in indie record stores.
The newly christened MF DOOM decided to do shows in public but chose to cover his face. It wasn’t until later that DOOM asked his friend KEO AKA LORD SCOTCH 79 to construct him the masks which greatly increased his aura. As his mystique and legend grew, it bolstered his musical output. DOOM’s “resurrection” while making excellent music at the beginning of the split between the mainstream and the underground Rap worlds created a perfect storm of interest from Hip-Hop heads.
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Photo: Stones Throw