Everyone, Including Us, Thought January 9th was MF DOOM’s Birthday – It’s Not

Even in the afterlife, The Villain’s trickery knows no end.

Today, so many people in hip-hop and beyond are celebrating what would have been the 50th birthday of the late MF DOOM. Cited as his date of birth by countless outlets over the years (including us,) January 9th has long been the day we toast to The Villain. However, it seems this whole time we’ve had it all wrong.

Whether by intentional deception (rapping “Circa one nine seventy-one, on the mic machine it seems his work will never be done” on the DANGERDOOM track, “Pretty Hair,”) or mere oversight on our part, it appears MF DOOM, born Daniel Dumile, kept his actual date of birth off (most of) the books. In fact, it wasn’t until today that we discovered a thread on Reddit disputing the widely-accepted birthday of DOOM. The first bit of evidence points to the rapper’s appearance before the US Senate in a hearing on voter registration from May 28th, 1991. During his testimony, the rapper (then going by Zev Love X,) claimed to be 19, which would nullify January 9th as a possible birthday on its own. But the thread also cites a pair of charges from a 1998 arrest in Baltimore. Naturally, we looked up the case stemming from his arrest, revealing Dumile’s actual birthday to be July 13th, 1971.

And while there’s no way to dig up a birth certificate, we did reach out to one of the few who managed to get closer than most to rap’s Merry Prankster. “No, I don’t think today is his birthday. He always wished me happy birthday on July 12th and I always wished him happy birthday on July 13th. Unless he was just not correcting me or lying to me, that’s when I know his birthday to be,” says Madlib manager and Now-Again Records chief, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt, in an email. “He also seemed more like a Cancer than a Capricorn, and his and Otis’s chemistry had that Cancer/Scorpio thing to it too,” Egon noted.

So, for now, we can save the big commemorations for July 13th. But we all know the tributes and salutes will continue pouring in until and well after that.



Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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