Enigmatic underground rap star MF DOOM revealed on Instagram that his 14-year-old son, Malachi Ezekial Dumile, has passed from unknown causes earlier today. The masked rapper uncharacteristically used his social media to eulogize his son, writing, “KING MALACHI EZEKIEL DUMILE 2/22/03 – 12/18/17 THE GREATEST SON ONE COULD ASK FOR. SAFE JOURNEY AND MAY ALL OUR ANCESTORS GREET YOU WITH OPEN ARMS. ONE OF OUR GREATEST INSPIRATIONS. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO BE YOUR PARENTS. LOVE YOU MALI,” alongside a photo.
DOOM, government name Daniel Dumile, has often kept his private and personal life separate through the use of his mysterious, supervillain persona since the death of his brother Dingilizwe Dumile, aka DJ Subroc of their shared group, KMD. Subroc’s passing halted his brother’s burgeoning rap career in the ’90s as their label pulled support for KMD’s album Black Bastards, which also featured controversial cover art at a time rap music was undergoing increased scrutiny due to its content. The surviving Dumile brother dropped his Zev Love X moniker and disappeared, returning five years later as the masked MF DOOM.
This latest emotional blow comes on the heels of another aborted musical project, The Missing Notebook Rhymes, which DOOM was cooking up on behalf of Adult Swim. Unfortunately, that project was nixed midstream for unknown reasons, leaving the world without the long-awaited project. DOOM has long had a propensity for vanishing on long-simmering projects and playing coy on social media, so it’s more of a shame that one of his rare public announcements has to be a eulogy for his son, who passed way too soon.