Streetwear and hip-hop have shared a symbiotic relationship for decades. It's a fusion of style, music, and culture, with influential artists often becoming fashion icons. Among them, the enigmatic British-American rapper MF DOOM (Daniel Dumile) stands out not just for his lyrical prowess but also for his unique and lasting influence on streetwear collaborations.

MF DOOM, the British-American rapper whose real name was Daniel Dumile, was born in 1971 and grew up in Long Island, New York. During his youth, he co-founded the graffiti crew KMD, which stood for "A Positive Kause in a Much Damaged Society," alongside his younger brother, Dingilizwe. Tragedy struck KMD during the creation of their second album, "Black Bastards," when Dingilizwe was tragically killed in 1993. The record label shelved the project, and Daniel retreated from the public eye.

Years later, Daniel resurfaced at the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe in Manhattan's Lower East Side, making an unannounced appearance with his face concealed by a stocking. This unique disguise soon became his trademark, eventually replaced by a metal mask. In 1997, he released his first single as MF DOOM, titled "Dead Bent," a playful nod to the Marvel comic book villain Doctor Victor von Doom and the pronunciation of his family name, DOOM-E-LAY. His debut solo album, "Operation: Doomsday" (Came to destroy rap), arrived in 1999.





Over the next decade, MF DOOM, sometimes adopting different aliases like Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah, released six full-length albums. His 2004 collaboration with Madlib, "Madvillainy," was highly anticipated in the underground hip-hop scene and remains a cult classic in the genre. On "Madvillainy," MF DOOM's cryptic and enigmatic lyrics reached new heights of excitement and intrigue. MF DOOM's signature look, characterized by a metal mask that concealed his face, became an integral part of his persona. This mask, reminiscent of classic comic book villains, was a symbol of his mysterious and enigmatic presence in the music industry. It not only added an element of intrigue but also created a distinctive visual identity for DOOM. This identity quickly merged into the urban space of streetculture with man brands collaborating with the rapper.





One of the most notable streetwear collaborations involving MF DOOM was his partnership with streetwear brand, Supreme. In 2007, Supreme released a collection featuring the iconic metal mask as a graphic print on hoodies, t-shirts, and skate decks. This collaboration bridged the gap between hip-hop and streetwear, elevating DOOM's status as a streetwear icon.

Another significant collaboration was with Nike SB in 2007. The MF DOOM x Nike SB Dunk High "MF DOOM" sneakers paid homage to his alter ego with a colourway inspired by his metal mask. This limited-edition release became an instant classic among sneakerheads and hip-hop enthusiasts alike.





Supreme's 2023 MF DOOM collection will comprise a selection of shirts, hats, and pants printed with the late DOOM's visage, including beanies with the graffiti-style MF DOOM eyeball logo and a hoodie laden with a photograph of the late rapper's inimitable mask. 

MF DOOM's contributions to both hip-hop and streetwear collaborations remain significant and enduring. His influence on streetwear culture goes beyond clothing and merchandise; it embodies the spirit of non-conformity and self-expression that defines streetwear. As streetwear continues to evolve, the legacy of MF DOOM serves as a reminder of the power of music and style to shape and inspire culture for generations to come. In a world of fast-paced trends, his impact endures as a timeless symbol of authenticity and artistic integrity in both music and fashion.


You can shop the new Supreme x MF DOOM collection here at Story


Levi Niekerk