Elusive, enigmatic and immensely talented, MF DOOM (born Daniel Dumile, aka Zev Love X, King Geedorah and Metal Face) has passed away aged 49. A cult favorite known for his intricate rhymes, off-kilter topics and clever wordplay, Dumile began rapping in the late ’80s as Zev Love X in KMD, a group he formed with his brother Dingilizwe Dumile. The same week his brother tragically died at just 19, KMD was dropped from their label and he dropped out of the industry until reappearing at Manhattan’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe, performing at an open-mic event while wearing a stocking over his face. Soon after—now with his trademark mask and new name, a nod to the Marvel villain Doctor Doom—he released 1999’s masterful Operation Doomsday. He went on to create albums under various monikers, and took part in several beloved collaborative projects like Madvillan (with fellow rapper Madlib) and Danger Doom (with DJ Danger Mouse). While they traverse from existential to playful, niche to universal, DOOM’s lyrics are clever, witty and weird; his dexterity and artistry always gleam on any beat.