This year marks 30 years since KMD‘s iconic album Black Bastards was born. The duo consisted of MF Doom — then called Zev Love X — and his brother DJ Subroc.
The Instagram of the late MF Doom, who died in 2020 at 49, confirmed this week that Black Bastards is getting a special reissue, teasing “Red Vinyl Gatefold Edition,” “Standard Black Vinyl,” and apparel.
The 30-year reissue will come via Doom’s Metalface Records (as noted by various outlets such as Consequence and HipHopDX) on March 31.
KMD released Black Bastards in 2000, but the official website listing the product contextualized the record’s true origin and lasting significance:
“Sadly, Subroc would face a sudden and untimely death in 1993, just as the duo were finishing the album. Grief-stricken, his brother Zev Love X – now the sole remaining member of the group – was determined to carry the legacy of KMD onward, but Elektra Records unceremoniously shelved the project in the eleventh hour, due to controversy surrounding the album’s provocative cover art. Following the fallout with Elektra, Zev tried for years to release the album on other labels, but he was continually met with dead ends. Struggling through the pain of losing his brother, coupled with the inability to release their final project together, a discouraged Zev Love X quietly withdrew from the scene and began quietly plotting his revenge on an industry that had broken him spiritually. Thus, in order to understand the true origin story of the super-villain, MF Doom, one must recognize and appreciate the evolution of his former group, KMD, and the backstory of their pivotal album, Black Bastards.”
News of MF Doom’s surprising death broke in December 2020. His wife, Jasmine, issued a statement confirming that Doom had “transitioned” on October 31, 2020.
In 2021, the City Council of Long Beach paid tribute to the late legend’s legacy by naming a street after him: MF Doom Way.
“His hip-hop lyricism represents some of the culture’s best linguistic metaphors, garnering intergenerational and interracial admiration,” Dr. Patrick Graham, a former schoolmate of MF Doom, said in a statement around the petition for MF Doom Way (as relayed by Stereogum at the time). “His life and art symbolize the resilience we need in our present context.”