MOS DEFinitely not DOOM (Show Review) - Idol Threat: Warning Shots at the Mainstream


Sunday, February 14, 2010

MOS DEFinitely not DOOM (Show Review)

Tonight was the night the much anticipated and much advertised "MOSDOOM" co-headlining tour would jump off in Chicago at Congress Theater. I tried to stay optimistic. Even when the show originally got rescheduled I still tried to "keep hope alive." Rumors of DOOM (formerly known as MF DOOM/Daniel Dumile/Zev Love X) sending imposters to perform in his place has been circulating since 2007, but this was different. This was "MOSDOOM." Surely Mos Def wouldn't let a rapper he admired pull this stunt during a tour with both their names and reputations attached to it? Even while the show dragged on and the deejays obviously stalled I still believed that DOOM would show and rock the mic.

(supposed "DOOM" at Chicago's Pitchfork Festival)

Chicago's BBU (Bin Laden Blowin Up) opened up with an energetic juke-styled performance after djs warmed up the restless crowd, but left the stage to boos from the crowd which grew increasingly hostile (partly due to the fact that almost everyone had to wait in an insanely long line outside in the cold for almost an hour before entry.) Underground stalwart Qwel of Galapagos/Typical Cats fame performed a solid set after stalling for his own dj by spitting acapellas that often ventured into tongue twisting. He jokingly and repeatedly asked the crowd to not boo him, but was still greeted with half-hearted "boos." Mike Relm was the surprise highlight of the night combining his turntablism with live sampling and "video deejaying" (although Peanut Butter Wolf still has the best video dj set I've ever seen.) Most of the crowd kept commenting on how his set kept dragging but I'm pretty sure he was asked to play longer to stall for the headliners. Even DOOM's fellow label-mate Psalm One made a surprise visit to perform one song (or perhaps a favor was called in to kill some more time?)
After an agonizing wait Mos finally graced the stage close to midnight (at this point some people have been at the Congress Theater since 7pm.) Mos Def performed a fairly short set consisting mostly of songs from his new album "The Estatic." He performed 2 old songs at most, and he also rapped a handful of DOOM's best songs while rocking a gold DOOM mask. This did not seem like a good sign but Mos himself assured us that DOOM was definitely in the house while he tried to calm the crowd, who periodically kept throwing beers and water bottles at the frequently empty stage.

Finally "DOOM" came on stage. Now before I bash him I'd like to say that DOOM has
created some of the best Hip Hop albums in recent years and is one of my favorite lyricists. He
was the also main reason I came to the show (having already seen Mos Def four times before) and so I was hoping it was truly him.

It wasn't. If it was him then he still seemed like he lipsynched to 90% of the songs he "performed" during his pitifully short set that barely lasted 20 minutes and did not address the crowd even once. People left early claiming it was not DOOM and rumor was that most of the front row attendees said that the imposter did not look like DOOM at all. Yes he's a villain yadda fucking yadda but any reasoning you put behind this does not justify wasting people's money. Yes it's all about the music, but if I wanted to hear a recorded set I would've listened to his albums at home while I stared at the plastic Gladiator mask I bought years ago. People see live shows to HEAR PEOPLE LIVE, which is a point that's especially more important if your voice is the only live instrument.
Stones Throw Records (another one of DOOM's many label collaborators) issued a statement when these rumors were first spreading but it was quickly taken down:

"Every day for the past month we’ve been hit up by people wanting explanations, statements, clarifications, and declarations about MF DOOM. Is he lip synching? (No. Listen to the videos on Youtube.) Is he an impostor? (No, but he did lose some pounds.)"

Then last year DOOM responded to the controversy in a Rolling Stone interview with the following statement:

“Everything that we do is villain style,” he explained. “Everybody has the right to get it or not get it. Once I throw it out, it’s there for interpretation. It might’ve seemed like it didn’t go well, but how do we know that wasn’t just pre-orchestrated so that we’re talking about it now? I tell you one thing: People are asking more now for live shows and I’m charging more, so it must’ve worked somewhere.”

I'm pissed but I can't say I didn't see the signs myself and I'll admit that this doesn't change my opinion of his future/past albums but no matter what way you spin this it was not a good look. Congratulations, you've succeeded. You're the villain.

More "DOOMPOSTER" links:


  1. I was at this show and can verify that all of this was true. Quell was awesome and Mike Relm also helped settle the crowd but when the stage remained empty after that, the crowd turned on the entire scene. I'm sure people were angry at MOS DEF too for making everyone wait so long.
    DEF was great but after waiting 4 1/2 hours, he was surprised the crowd was so upset. He left super-quick and then came the fake DOOM.
    If you are reading this, there was no doubt last night that the dude on stage last night was not DOOM. Didn't really look like him, didn't sound at all like him, and to add to what everyone already feared, he didn't address/speak to the crowd once. If this were actually DOOM, then he fucked up big time and still deserved the crowd resentment. The organizers of this show should be fired and banished from the Chicago scene, as well as DOOM. Sorry DOOM but my loyalty doesn't supersede this act of betrayal.

  2. On point analysis of the show.

  3. I was at the show last night as well. And yes the waiting was unbearable and I knew when I purchased two tickets, that cost about 100 dollars,that there was a huge possibility DOOM wasn't going to be there. The man says honestly and openly what he does and is about. So why are people turning on him now, as if it's a betrayal? I felt sorry for those DJ's and Mos Def when the crowd took out their new found aggression on them. I had a great time at that show and yes, it would have been amazing to see DOOM. But guess what he has your money no matter how angry or riotous you get. I just wish the other artists were treated more respectfully.

  4. @Victoria.

    Guess what? He has more of your money than he does mine because I only paid $29 for my ticket.

    I don't think anyone can appreciate being deceived, regardless it is an artist's MO. If the aim of this stunt in the past was to generate a buzz around DOOM, it has definitely backfired and the only buzz around DOOM in Chicago will be similar to a disturbed hornets' nest! I don't know any real hip-hop heads or regular concert goers who will support another DOOM show in Chicago. You may be able to pull off those kind of shinanigans on other people, or in other cities, but NOT IN CHICAGO! You are definitely going to hear about it, IMMEDIATLEY if not sooner! Thus, the agressive display of displeasure by a normally respectful, eagerly anticipating crowd turned angry mob after enduring over 4 hours of overextended "performances" by non-headliners.

    I must give credit where credit is due: the opening acts, with the exception of BBU (which should stand for Big Botch Up), were pretty solid even though they were drawn out. And if credit is given, creadit must be taken away from the DOOM crew for this complete lack of respect and showmanship, disguised as "Villainy"! Mos, sorry you got dragged into this mess.

    And to think, I was about to go out and buy his whole collection!


  5. Nice detective work with the photos! Doom is a bitch anyone still buying tix to "see doom", should know better by now. He's been doing this for years so and it's well know!
    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"

  6. I was so pissed at this show for a number of reasons. This was my first & last Doom show!! Really DOOM 20 minutes!! It was a total disregard of his fans. Standing in long ass lines in the cold & on hard concrete for 5+ hours, who in the blue put BBU on stage...suck! Qwel was on point much love!! Qel fought for his respect and he got mine! Mike Relm was dope but you saw at least twice some guy talking to him & as we figure it was to stall. How are you going to feed Mike Relm to the crowd that was sooooo pissed already. Not Cool. Mos Def said Brooklyn spreads love but in Chicago to get love you gotta give love. Doom will never get my money ever again!


  7. now I don't mind that I've never bought any of the doom albums I own. Fuck that dude straight up but honestly, if you weren't happy to see Qwel, Mike Relm and Mos Def for the $30 you paid, then your actin' quit spoiled. They still put on a good show.

  8. What's the word on the Toronto concert.

    I'm considering rollin from Detroit to go check that out. As a dude who has nearly every DOOM album, I'm gonna be seriously pissed if its not the supervillain in the flesh at the show.

    If you ever read this DOOM, we want the real DOOM. If there wasn't all this noise about imposters and shit I would be at that show in a minute.

    You're forcing me to wonder whether or not going to see my favorite artist of all time.

    That should be a no-brainer.

  9. @Shaggy that's quite a risk driving all that way. All I know from everything I've researched is that even if it IS DOOM performing at the very least you'll probably be getting a lip synched performance that barely lasts 20 minutes.

    I doubt that we're going to get any straight answers from him, his labels or any promoters so I suggest you only go if you don't mind seeing a short medley of DOOMs songs, possibly lip synched, and a short Mos Def set almost half of which is gonna be him rapping DOOM songs.

    If you do go just don't expect to see him so you won't get let down, and don't let these shenanigans change your opinion of his music let the music stand alone. People bitched about Miles Davis being a jerk and Ozzy acts all kinds of stupid but you can't deny how dope their music is.
    If all this shit is true just don't support his live shows.



    you're a fool you may have only paid 29 dollars but that doesn't change the fact that you're crying about an artist who's known to send impostors; you KNEW if you really were into doom that when you paid that money there was high possibility he wasn't going to show up. So all you can do is either take it up with the man himself or stop bitching on the internet. you're probably a backpacker anyway

  12. i always wondered if this is why the mask is worn; anyone can be a villain.. doom makes the songs, but it really doesnt matter who performs them that's why its "open to interpretation".. $29 to see Qwel, Maker, Intel, Mos and Relm isn't that bad. I do think waiting outside in the cold for that long is inexcusable.


    Good article.

    “You came out to see me? Y’all don’t even know who I am!”

    nuff said

  14. Talked to a lawyer Monday. He was blown away by what I relayed to him. A judge will likely see it the same way. Classic bait-and-switch case. Promoters should make it easy on themselves and settle up with the fans.

  15. I drove from Indy to see that show....we're organizing on fb, here is the link. join up and invite!!/group.php?gid=321909516840

    lol @ people defending doom. yall need to get real.

  16. LOL even louder at yall noobs gettin mad at DOOM. like homeboy said before me, you should know what to expect by now. hes been doin this for years now. if you aint down with it, simply dont go. duhhhh? lol, OMFG