Thanks to the tireless lobbying of Dr. Patrick C. Graham, a professor, public and social sector leader and a former classmate of MF DOOM, an entire street block in New York is set to be renamed in memory of the late rapper.
The rapper, real name Daniel Dumile, passed away on Halloween last year. His death was made public a few months after his passing on New Years Eve.
After his death was made public, a petition was started by Graham, who made the petition on behalf of the newly-formed KMD-MF DOOM Way Committee. They requested that “the City of Long Beach rename East Hudson Street’s block between Riverside Boulevard and Long Beach Road “KMD-MF DOOM Way” after the recently deceased artist who grew up in Long Beach, New York.”
In conversation with HipHopDX, Graham confirmed that the City Council had approved the committee’s application.
“I had several community members contact me to see if I could get engaged with it,” he told them over the phone. “I used to run the Martin Luther King Center there, so I still have a close connection to the community.
“I was born and raised there, went to high school with Dumile. So I said give me a minute and I’ll craft a letter to the City Council based on how I see it and then converted that letter into a petition. The group said they loved it and we moved forward.
“I’m just happy this is happening because it’s not only a victory for Dumile’s legacy, but it’s also about showing that community our generation. It is a way for people to see a symbol of our generation and our impact, particularly in a community that’s gentrifying pretty fast.
“Daniel Dumile, or MF DOOM, left an indelible mark on the music industry and on the lives of people across the globe,” Long Beach City Manager Donna M. Gayden added. “Long Beach is proud to bestow this honor in his memory and proud that he called our City home.”
When asked what he believed DOOM would think of the name change, he laughed and spoke to DOOM’s characteristic shyness.
“I think he would want to put a mask on the sign and hide still. I think he would eventually understand it is not just about him, but it’s about a legacy of hip hop that city must recognize and know had a great influence on the young people who grew up there.
“It influenced me so much, I wrote my master thesis on hip hop.”
The official name of the street is yet to be settled on, however that will be the next step in the process.
The latest post-humous release from MF DOOM came as part of The Avalanches’ debut album’s 20th anniversary special. DOOM contributed a remix the group’s song ‘Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life’.