Atmosphere Has Released What May Be MF DOOM’s Final Verse

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In the closing hours of 2020, the world learned that Hip-Hop artist MF DOOM had passed away several months prior, on October 31. The producer/MC born Daniel Dumile had amassed a massive following in his enigmatic 30-plus-year career. After co-founding KMD under the name Zev Love X reinvented himself as solo artist MF DOOM. The move happened following the death of Dumile’s brother and band-mate Subroc. Beginning in the late ’90s through his passing, DOOM enjoyed a creative metamorphosis from underground legend to an artist who became one of the most sought-out producers and MCs in music—reaching the charts, television, and the mainstream consciousness—all on his own terms.

This 2003 Conversation With MF DOOM Is The Interview Of His Career

During that journey, DOOM worked with the Rhymesayers camp in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, he released 2004’s MM…Food album amid a pivotal year. Metal Face would also cross paths with Slug (and sometimes Ant) on Molemen’s “Put Your Quarter Up,” Atmosphere’s “When The Lights Go Out,” and his own “SUPERVILLAINZ.” This week, Hip-Hop Heads now learn that DOOM and Atmosphere crossed paths one more time for “Barcade,” a standout song from Atmosphere’s brand new LP, WORD? Like “Put Your Quarter Up” nearly 20 years before, this song uses an arcade title for some MCs who did not come to play. It also marks what is believed to be one of DOOM’s final verses.

“Barcade” begins with a clever Aesop Rock verse: “Duck, duck, I’m too next / Punks jump to get suplexed / My two cents is y’all f*cked up / So come buddy up with these moose heads / I get blood and guts on my work clothes / So no turncoats and no funny stuff / I go turbo, ya do run run, or get chaperoned back to bumblef*ck.” DOOM keeps the energy as he goes next: “Sh*tty fingers in your weed jar / This whole world is like VR / Free shows at the rebar / All hokey and yeehaw / Keep plucking your gui-tar / See par dipped off the price is right / Free car, we are / Bob Barker, much darker / Black parka, fat marker / Mic sparker / Metal face, more bodies than a Nightstalker.” The words honor DOOM’s graffiti legacy alongside his trademark whimsical rhyme style. He flexes an interesting vocal tone at points throughout the song. Slug closes things out with longer bars than his song-mates: “Never starvin’ for attention, never begged for pardons / I checked your references, they all said that you’re extra harmless / I’ll straight up f*ckin’ son you, then I’ll catch some bargains / I might be your plug, it depends on where your heart is / You might be my plug, it depends on where your farm is / I’ll take a smart dog with sauerkraut and Parmesan / And you can find me tryin’ to make party until the stars are gone / First-time caller, tryin’ to holler at Martians / I might be servin’ cauliflower at the farmers market / Rest in peace to all the energy outside of the margin / And leave a candle in the window, that’s for Michael Larsen.” While shouting out another late Rhymesayer, Eyedea, Slug champions all of the fallen greats. Ant’s beat is charged up with some ghoulish accents.

Atmosphere’s Slug Breaks Down The Real Meaning Of “Lucy Ford.” (Audio)

“When [MF DOOM] died, it hit me — because it was just a hard year in general — and so for that news … I didn’t even know until New Year’s Eve when the public announcement came out,” Slug told HipHopDX‘s Kyle Eustice. “I was doing the math, because he gave me that verse and was like, ‘I’m good. I like it.’ And that was in October.” The RSE co-founder continued, “[MF DOOM] was one of the last people to give me a part for the album. And so when he gave it to me and then when I did the math and they said that he died on Halloween, I was just like, ‘Yo he gave me this verse right before he died.’” In the same interview, Slug admitted that while he and DOOM had a working relationship, both men were bound together by a mutually close connection to fellow Rhymesayers founder Siddiq Sayers. Slug, whose recent songwriting often deals with aging, diet, and family, also said he empathized with DOOM’s challenges as a middle-aged artist battling health concerns. Earlier this year, DOOM was a collaborator with CZARFACE on the Super What? album.

WORD? also features Evidence, Sa-Roc, Latryx’s Lateef The Truthspeaker, Nino Bless, Anwar Highsign (fka Has-Lo), Musab, Nikki Jean, and others. Recent songs by DOOM and Aesop Rock also appear on the playlist, as do curated tracks by Ev’, CZARFACE, Khrysis, Mickey Factz, Blu & Nottz, Gift Of Gab, Your Old Droog, and Westside Gunn, among many others.

MF DOOM Says He & Madlib Have Recorded Several Albums Worth Of Songs

Atmosphere press image by Dan Monick provided by Steaming Kettle PR.

#BonusBeat: The Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast episode dedicated to MF DOOM: