MF DOOM had one simple request — “all caps when you spell the man’s name.” But evidently, the Recording Academy didn’t get the memo or has never heard the 2014 Madvillain track “All Caps.”
As the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards got underway at the Los Angeles Staples Center on Sunday night (March 14), the Recording Academy paid tribute to several artists who passed away in 2020, including DOOM, Whodini’s John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, Pop Smoke, Toots Hibbert of Toots & The Maytals and Chick Corea. But Hip Hop fans couldn’t help but notice how DOOM’s name was stylized in the caption — lower case.
Twitter soon exploded with comments such as “UHHH MF DOOM supposed to be in all caps,” “Love that MF DOOM was honored on a main stage, but I feel conflicted about it. They ain’t use all caps to spell the man’s name” to “Come [0n] Grammy’s, it’s MF DOOM in ALL CAPS!!!!”
The news of DOOM’s death arrived on December 31, 2020, a full two months after his wife Jasmine said he’d passed. Understandably, the Hip Hop community came out in droves to express their shock and sadness on social media. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def ) was one of DOOM’s peers who paid tribute with a special Instagram post dedicated to his fallen friend.
The post featured the storied MC rapping over Madvillain’s 2004 Madvillainy classic “ALL CAPS.” He added in the caption, “ALL CAPS. CAPS LOCK ON. INNALAHI WA INNALAHI RAJOON. PARIS 2014 RECORDED LIVE ON SITE. INSPIRATION INFORMATION. THANK YOU AND THANK YOU AGAIN. PEACE.#MFDOOM. #BEYONDOOM.”
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But then there was an Instagram post from 3rd Bass legend MC Serch who was partially responsible for introducing DOOM to the rest of the world. After DOOM (then known as Zev Love X) formed KMD with his younger brother Subroc, 3rd Bass told A&R Dante Ross about the group who soon signed them to Elektra Records. KMD then made their recording debut on the 3rd Bass song “The Gas Face” from their 1989 debut The Cactus Album.
“I found out 12/31/2020 at 3:30pm and cried for most of the day,” he wrote in part alongside photos of himself with DOOM. “I have known Doom since he was 14 years old. We spent years going to park jams at the MLK Center. We went to Roosevelt Field Mall to kick it. We would go to Jones Beach and we were blocks from Long Beach. When I got sign it was all of us. GYP. The Get Yours Posse. I never asked Doom to wear a 3rd Bass shirt. He just did.”
Beyond Serch and Yasiin Bey, artists such as Jay Electronica, Lupe Fiasco, Public Enemy’s Chuck D ,Q-Tip, Tyler, The Creator and Playboi Carti also paid their respects on social media. In the wake of DOOM’s passing, his streams exploded by a reported 870 percent as people rediscovered — or perhaps discovered — his catalog.
DOOM’s song downloads and album sales also saw a healthy increase between December 31 and January 5, growing 2,879 percent and 1,264 percent, respectively, compared to the week before. Among the most popular songs was Mm…Food’s 2004 single “Rapp Snitch Knishes,” which was streamed over 1.5 million times in the same time period.