Updated: May 8
MF Doom, the iconic rapper and producer, was known for many things, but perhaps most recognizable was his signature gladiator mask. The mask became synonymous with Doom himself,
and for many fans, it represented the artist's elusive persona and the enigmatic nature of his music. However, the mask also carries a deeper meaning, one that speaks to the black male experience in America.
For many black men, the gladiator mask represents the in-acceptance they feel from society. It is a symbol of the need to hide our true selves, to put on a façade of
strength and stoicism to protect ourselves from a world that sees us as a threat. The gladiator mask becomes a shield, a means of protecting oneself from the scrutiny and judgement of others.
Yet, despite this need to hide, us black men are also highly sought after for our talents.
In the case of MF Doom, his musical genius and unique style made him a highly influential figure in the world of hip-hop, and counter culture. The gladiator mask becomes a symbol of the paradox of the black male experience in America: the feeling of being endangered, however highly valued; yet seemingly being forced to prepare for a a life of gladiator battles and possibly death.
In each photograph, the mask stands out as a powerful symbol. It represents the need to protect oneself while also while providing the allure of hiding and only being able to lean on your skill in battle and creativity in order to survive.
It speaks to the trauma and struggles with mental health and wellness of today's black men in America, while also celebrating our creativity and resilience.
The Masks of Doom is a tribute to an artist whose impact on music and culture
is immeasurable. The photographs capture the spirit of Doom's music and persona, and they also serve as a reminder of the ongoing struggles of black men in America. Through his music and his iconic mask, MF Doom will continue to inspire generations to come.
The collection consists of 30"x40"in photos on aluminum metal canvas. Only 3 pieces will be in circulation
An NFT of the the artwork will be issued upon purchase via the Polygon network to indicate authenticity and ownership. A valid NFT wallet is required to receive the digital asset. Check out the collection on Open Sea Here
Check out one of my favorites and one of MF Doom's last albums . It is a collaboration between him and Czarface. Czarface is an American hip hop supergroup formed in 2013 by underground hip hop duo 7L & Esoteric and Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck.