In every era and in every world, be it music, art, skating, or math, there are several individuals leading the way. They're the ones stepping out ahead of the pack and exploring the possibilities and raising the bar for everyone else. MF Doom has been a few steps ahead for several years now. His debut album, Doomsday, is nothing short of genius and is in a category shared only by Madlib's Quasimoto album, The Unseen. Not surprisingly, Madlib and Doom are friends and recently collaborated on an album under the name Madvillain, on which Madlib handled the beats and Doom took care of the vocals. Doom's next release is his long awaited sophomore album, MM..Food. It is a masterpiece. From the cover art to the last song the entire thing is great. Boom.

Yeah, yeah. What up?

I'm calling from New Latveria. This is Apocalypse!
What's the word, man?

Welcome to your interview!
You're worse than me with it, kid.

How are you?
I'm chilling.

So do you have a spot in New York as well as Atlanta?
Yeah, definitely. I try to keep it popping like that.

Which one is the more powerful base?
Really, one without the other wouldn't work right. It's like both of them are connected. They both serve their purposes.

What were your favorite games when you were a kid?
Freeze tag was the illest shit. Used to play that until way late in the night! Freeze tag was dope.

Were you a fast runner?
I guess I was. Not nowadays, I got a little weight on me. You know, out of shape a little something, but yeah, back in the day I used to do my thing.

What if a pickup game of freeze tag started now?
Damn, I wouldn't want to be it. I wouldn't catch nobody.

Do you ever think of making beats for Del?
That's funny you mention that, somebody just said the same thing to me yesterday. That's my man, but we've never had a chance to do shit together.

Are you a good dresser?
I'd say mediocre. I try to fit in with the times; casual, I don't want to stand out too much. You won't catch me in a Sean Jean velour suit, though.

Do you get nervous when you talk to girls?
Yeah, to this day, still. That's why I don't even talk to them; I don't even attempt it.

You wait for them to come to you?
Yeah. That's if they do. That's a rare occasion.

Do you take the mask off or leave it on?
No, on. They wouldn't even talk to me if I didn't have the mask on! Forget it

Do you like Vikings?
The sports team or Vikings?

The Norsemen.
Vikings are cool. They're thorough, rugged dudes.

Would you rather be friends with a Viking or a genie?
A genie. That's the obvious, kid! I'd be like, "Make me a stack of $100,000 right now. Cash, all small bills" A genie? Forget it!

What would you want besides money, and you can slap the genie.
Word? I don't know if I'd want to do that He's a genie, he could turn me into a toad. So check it, I would say peace on Earth. That's the first one. Then I don't know. Peace on Earth, that about covers it.

Do you get scared?
Not really, the only thing to fear is fear itself. This would be a boring place; it's bad enough the way everything is with the war and all this shit going on. I figure just live, when it's your time to go it's time to go. Everything's a learning experience.

What's the most interesting thing about turtles?
The amphibious factor is always something that's dope. Being able to go from water to land type shit. The shell thing is fresh. But not only that, their life span is real dope, especially those big sea turtles. So that shit is kind of. turtles are ill. I would say the life span and their shell.

How does Metal Face work?
Metal Face is really my wife's company. MF Doom is a free agent like how I do now I'll do something for Stones Throw. I do this and that I'm not signed to no particular label and I'll pop up on Metal Face, but Metal Face is really for new artists or artists that made noise but didn't really get out fully. So my wife will be like, "I wanna put this out. Or, yo, we should fuck with that." I let her do all the choosing and then after that I take care of the production side.

What's your daily routing like?
Six o'clock wake up. I got my son, he's 10, and my nephew's eight They get me up. I make them their little breakfast or whatever, make sure they on time, make sure they on point By seven o'clock they're outta here on the bus. By then I really want to go back to sleep, but I'm already up so I'll throw a record on, or we got an X-Box in here and I'll fuck around with that for an hour or two. When nine o'clock comes around, I'll just review what I've got to do like emails, phone calls, unfortunately. But then after that it's just straight writing, especially now I'm just getting in the full swing of the Doom album. I'm like half way through, maybe on the fifth song, so five more to do. I'm gonna knock out these five in the next 10 to 15 days, bang! And at the same time I'm working on the new KMD album.

Yeah, you know it's going on simultaneously. I'll be doing the Doom album and check the idea and have to stop and write that shit down and put it to the side.

So you're pretty methodical with a regimented schedule?
Oh yeah, definitely had to do it Everything started piling up. I'm like, "There must be a way to systematically break this down and get a set pattern so I can knock it out."

What's the KMD album going to be?
Of course there's gonna be a story line to it, in traditional KMD fashion, but I got different characters in it Zev is gonna be a part of it of course. The story takes place from where it left off at in the Black Bastards era. The album feels like that, the whole missing time question is answered on there.

What's been your favorite experience in hip-hop?
I'd have to say back when we went on tour with Kane and Third Bass, playing huge arenas, and of course my brother was alive then so we were causing trouble, just going crazy having fun. And when we'd come out to do our part on "Gas Face-it's a small verse, but when I come out on stage it was a famous song so people would be hyped. I'd be nervous until that one point To this day I get nervous until the point I have to walk out on stage. I'd walk out, do the verse and kill it! It was only like 30 seconds if that Then I'd bounce. That time was fun. Talk to Kane, see how his show was, get advice from those types of dudes. All those people were good back then. Tupac was on the road with Digital Underground at the time so I got to kick it with Pac, and he was a cool dude. This was before he came out with his first album or anything. Even when I'd see him after that after he got large, he always kept a thoroughly cool dude. It was a peaceful experience learning and everything. Nowadays hip-hop has changed. It needs to get back to that on the main level. Too much fucking drama, it's a musical art we're dealing with for one. It's art; it's a loving thing, a good vibe shit. How you gonna bring that shit killing people, it's absurd. Look at other genres-country, jazz-nobody is blasting each other in that shit That needs to stay out of the music. If you a gangsta, be a gangsta. If you're an entertainer, be an entertainer. If you're a gangsta kid that wants to rock, keep the gangsta shit out of the rhyme. It don't belong there. It's corny.

related artists Madvillain