Legendary rapper MF Doom, famous for his intricate rhyming schemes and his signature face mask, has died, his family announced Thursday night.
The hip-hop star, whose real name was Daniel Dumile, died on Oct. 31, but his passing was not announced until New Year's Eve, when his wife posted a Facebook tribute.
“The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for,” Dumile’s wife, Jasmine, said. “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.”
A cause of death was not given and there was no explanation for why his death was not announced for two months.
Demile made six solo albums from 1999 to 2009. He collaborated with rappers including Danger Mouse and Madlib on five other releases.
“He was a writer’s writer. Grateful I got to know you a little, king. Proud to be your fan. Thank you for keeping it weird and raw always. You inspired us all and always will,” wrote hip-hop artist El-P on Instagram.
Dumile was born in London, but moved to New York's Long Island with his family as a young child. He began rapping as a teenager, using the name Zev Love X while performing with hip-hop group KMD. He formed the act with you his younger brother, DJ Subroc.
Their 1991 debut, "Mr. Hood," was praised by genre critics and they were recording a follow album when Subroc died in a traffic accident in 1993, Rolling Stone reported.
Dumile vanished from public life after his brother's death and did not reemerge until the end of the decade, appearing without notice at New York City's Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe and wearing a stocking over his head.
Thus began his long dalliance with appearing incognito. In 1999, he released "Operation Doomsday" under the moniker MF Doom, wearing a metallic-looking mask modeled after the Marvel villain Doctor Doom.
In a 2009 interview in The New Yorker, Dumile said he began relying on subterfuge as he moved from recording to live performances.
“I wanted to get onstage and orate, without people thinking about the normal things people think about. “A visual always brings a first impression," he said. "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?”