Before there was the Metal Faced Villain, MF Doom, there was Zev Love X of the funky, afrocentric KMD hip-hop group. Along with his brother DJ Subroc, Zev Love created songs that focused on racism and black empowerment in a comical manner. But when Subroc was killed in a tragic traffic collision, Zev fell into a deep depression and off the hip-hop map for several years, eventually returning with a new, mysteriously charismatic persona as the deeply strange but engaging MF Doom.
Since then, Doom has worked with the best of the best in rap, from Black Thought on the Danger Doom throwaway “Mad Nice” to the late, great Sean Price on “Negus” from Doom’s current 15-week collaborative project with Adult Swim, The Missing Notebook Rhymes, a collection of 15 weeks of new music.
As part of this collaboration, Doom is digging deep in the archives, revealing the first official KMD song in over 25 years. “True Lightyears,” which you can listen to above, will double as the first single from the forthcoming KMD album Crack In Time (to be released by Metalface/Nature Sounds). It remains to be seen how the album will work without Subroc, but for fans of a certain age it’s still worth get excited about.
The collaboration with similarly reclusive Five Percenter emcee Jay Electronica was previously teased in live performances, but today marks the first official release of the track many fans of cerebral, intricate rhymes and wordplay have been waiting for. Only two weeks into The Missing Notebook releases, MF Doom is proving he still has the ability to surprise by going back to his roots. We’ll see what’s in store for the next 13 weeks.