Five years ago, I boarded a plane from JFK to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on the instruction that at some point between takeoff and landing the hip-hop artist MF Doom would text me from a secret cell-phone number and give me directions about how to meet him for an interview. The texts arrived in the form of a series of cryptic comments that played out as a treasure hunt across downtown Atlanta. They eventually led to a bar he'd turned into a super-villain's lair. (The password for the doorman: "Villain.") After a three-hour interview punctuated with pints of black-and-tans and whiskey shots, Doom rounded up his cronies (clad in stocking masks) and engineered an exit from the premises. At that point, the regular staff returned and acted as if Doom had never even been there.
Photo by Klaus Thymann Cornered: Doom and Bishop Nehru
That's just how it is with Doom. He's the self-styled super-villain of hip-hop whose scant public appearances always see him wearing a metal mask over his face. He revels in a role as the genre's ultimate recluse, and at one point became infamous for sending impostors to perform for him at shows (while he presumably sat home and counted up the cash, as dastardly masterminds are wont to do).More »