The announcement of masked rapper MF DOOM’s death late last year rocked the rap world. MF DOOM, real name Daniel Dumile, led an inspiring life and career, and his hometown of Long Beach, New York, would like to honor him. Recent community efforts culminated in a street being named after the legendary rapper.
Dr. Patrick C. Graham, who went Long Beach High School with Dumile, created the petition for the street naming. He writes, “Hip-hop leaders credit Mr. Dumile as one of the most prolific rap artists of all time. His life served as an example of inclusive community building and growth through individual struggle. Long Beach profoundly influenced his adolescents [sic].”
Dumile’s career started in Long Beach on Long Island, where he formed the the group KMD with his brother DJ Subroc. Graham originally wanted the street name to encompass the two different stages of his career, by calling it “KMD-MF DOOM Way, however this will most likely not be the final name selection.
“Right now, there’s discussion instead of just ‘KMD-MF DOOM WAY,’ there’s going to be some indication of his actual government name,” Graham tells HipHopDX. “That’s all I knew him as was Dumile [laughs]. They were trying to do it before his birthday, but I feel we shouldn’t rush.”
The group spearheading the effort calls themselves the KMD-MF DOOM Way Committee and has received support from the local city council.
“Daniel Dumile, or MF DOOM, left an indelible mark on the music industry and on the lives of people across the globe,” Long Beach City Manager Donna M. Gayden says. “Long Beach is proud to bestow this honor in his memory and proud that he called our City home.”
Despite growing up in Long Beach, the Dumile was technically born in London. His parents moved his family to New York one month after his birth. The rapper spent decades of his life fighting for legal immigration status in the U.S., and after repeated denials, he returned to the U.K. in 2012 and never came back to the States.
“I’m just happy this is happening because it’s not only a victory for Dumile’s legacy, but it’s also about showing that community our generation,” Graham adds. “It is a way for people to see a symbol of our generation and our impact, particularly in a community that’s gentrifying pretty fast.”