Writer David Ma originally published his interview with DOOM on Nerdtorious.com around the release of the rapper’s sixth album Born Like This but the interview has since resurfaced on Passion of the Weiss.
The conversation finds DOOM talking about his mask and where he got it from, his introduction to hip-hop music, working with Ghostface Killah and more.
In terms of his mask and why he wears one, the Mm..Food artist said:
“It’s really just another character. Zev Love X was a character too, most people think that’s me but he wasn’t. They’ve all been characters. The DOOM thing is to be able to come at things with a different point of view. I decided the mask would just add to the mystique of the character as well as make DOOM stand out. I though it’d be an easy way for people to see and differentiate between characters, sorta like when an actor gains weight for a role. Throwing on the mask was just a good way to switch it up.”
He also talked about where he got his mask from while revealing he has a few different masks that are different from each other.
“You know the movie Gladiator? Well around that time, they started selling these ‘gladiator masks’ that were replicas from the movie. So what it was is that a friend of mine told me he saw this mask that would be perfect for the DOOM character. I trusted him, even though it was kinda expensive [laughs]. So he went and bought the mask, which was this collector’s item thing that came on a wooden stand and all that. It was a total replica that came on a stick with a stand for displaying and shit. There was this top piece on it too that my friend just tore off [laughs]. He took off the stick and everything else and just kept the faceplate. You know how construction hats have a plastic thing on the inside that you can tighten? Well, he just took one of those and fastened it to the mask. So he rigged it up for me. Since then, I chromed it out, added a ruby to it too. That’s how the mask came about.”
Other notable topics from the interview are below. Read it in full here.
On first being exposed to hip-hop music:
“I came to America when I was like 6-months old, so I pretty much grew up here. Kurtis Blow is probably the first major emcee I can remember. I came out to America when hip-hop was just poppin’ off so I got involved right away.”
On releasing Born Like This as DOOM and not MF DOOM:
“This record is DOOM’s most personal record. This is where you get to the center of this character, so I decided to drop the MF for this album only. I didn’t think it’d be a big deal or nothing. Then everyone’s asking me why I changed my name [laughs]. After [Operation] Doomsday and MM…Food, I don’t think DOOM would call himself MF DOOM anymore. He just says DOOM when referring to himself.”
On Working with Ghostface Killah:
“Ghost comes with some shit you don’t expect. He makes things relatable by being vivid and honest and real. His stories are just so damn interesting. Like Bukowski, he’s one of those dudes that just has a natural knack for this. It’s like he speaks in color.”
On if MF DOOM will ever put down the mask:
“The character himself, DOOM, will always have the mask.”
Source: Passion of the Weiss