KMD (K.M.D., Kausing Much Damage, or A Positive Kause in a Much Damaged Society) was an American hip hop trio active from 1988 to 1994. The core of the group was composed of brothers Daniel "Zev Love X" Dumile and Dingilizwe "DJ Subroc" Dumile. The group's original third member, Jade 1 (believed to later be known as Rodan), left before the group signed with Elektra Records, being replaced with Onyx the Birthstone Kid. The group dissolved in 1994 following the sudden death of DJ Subroc in 1993, the departure of Onyx and conflicts with Elektra that resulted in them being dropped from the label.

KMD circa 1991; left to right: Zev Love X, Subroc, and Onyx
KMD circa 1991; left to right: Zev Love X, Subroc, and Onyx
Background information
Also known asKausing Much Damage
A Positive Kause in a Much Damaged Society
OriginLong Beach, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Years active1988–1994
LabelsElektra Records
Fondle 'Em Records
ReadyRock Records
Sub Verse Music
Past members

KMD released two studio albums, Mr. Hood (1991) and Black Bastards; the latter of which was recorded in 1993 and not officially released until 2000. Zev Love X subsequently changed his moniker to MF Doom and achieved success as a solo artist. Doom attempted to revive the KMD name in the 2010s, releasing a new song and announcing a comeback album in 2017, but no further updates or recordings surfaced before his death in October 2020.

History Edit

Zev Love X, DJ Subroc, and Jade 1 formed KMD in Long Beach, New York, in 1988.[1] The three were Black Muslims active in the Nuwaubian Nation. KMD began as a graffiti crew; they also practiced breakdance.[2]

Onyx the Birthstone Kid soon replaced Jade 1, who left the group in order to finish high school. MC Serch, a native of nearby Far Rockaway, met the group at community functions and recruited them for a guest spot on "The Gas Face," a single off 3rd Bass' The Cactus Album. The guest appearance caught the attention of A&R executive Dante Ross, who signed KMD to Elektra Records.

KMD released their debut album Mr. Hood in 1991.[1] Its songs focus on racism and black empowerment in a comical manner. Subroc heavily sampled old children's television shows and recordings, including drops of Sesame Street character Bert on the singles "Who Me?" and "Humrush." Skits featuring KMD interacting with "Mr. Hood" (a series of samples from a language instruction tape) tie the album together. Stimulated Dummies co-produced Mr. Hood; the album also featured fellow Five Percenters, Brand Nubian appearing on "Nitty Gritty." Around the same time Mr. Hood was released, Zev Love X and Onyx testified before the United States Congress in support of the National Voter Registration Act, on behalf of Rock the Vote.[3]

The group recorded their follow up, Black Bastards, in 1993.[1] The album was a departure from their lighthearted previous release with songs celebrating sex ("Plumskinnz"), drugs ("Smokin' That S*#%", "Contact Blitt", "Suspended Animation"), and drinking ("Sweet Premium Wine"). Onyx left the group during the recording sessions. His verse was removed from "Plumskinzz" (the B-side to the "Nitty Gritty" single off Mr. Hood), which was included on Black Bastards as two separate tracks, "Plumskinzz.(Loose Hoe, God & Cupid)" (Zev Love X's verse) and "Plumskinzz.(Oh No I Don't Believe It!)" (Subroc's verse). Zev Love X created the cover art, a Sambo caricature being hanged in a game of hangman.[1]

Shortly before finishing Black Bastards, Subroc was killed[4] while attempting to cross the 878 Nassau Expressway on April 23, 1993. Zev Love X completed the album alone over the course of the next months and advance copies were finally sent out in early 1994.[1] "What a Nigga Know?" was released as the first single in March that same year and Black Bastards was announced to be released on May 3, 1994. [5][6] Soon afterwards Elektra Records unexpectedly cancelled the album and dropped KMD.[1] The album's title and cover art proved too controversial for Elektra's management,[1] who instructed Dante Ross to give Zev Love X the Black Bastards master tapes and $20,000 as incentive to leave the label. The album was heavily bootlegged until it was officially released on ReadyRock Records in 2000.[7] Zev Love X dropped out of the New York hip hop scene until 1997, when he reemerged as MF Doom.

On August 16, 2017, MF Doom premiered the first new KMD track in ten years, "True Lightyears", on NPR Music. It was the first single from KMD's still-unreleased comeback album Crack In Time and featured Jay Electronica and MF Doom.[8][9] The track was also released as part of MF Doom's 2017 compilation album The Missing Notebook Rhymes.

MF DOOM died on October 31, 2020 with the cause of death originally not being revealed. In July 2023 it has been reported that DOOM died of angioedema.

Discography Edit

Albums Edit

Studio albums Edit

List of studio albums
Title Album details
Mr. Hood
Black Bastards
  • Released: May 15, 2000
  • Label: Readyrock Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, cassette, digital download
Crack In Time

Compilation albums Edit

List of compilation albums
Title Album details
Best of KMD
  • Released: November 18, 2003
  • Label: Nature Sounds
  • Formats: CD, LP

EPs Edit

Singles Edit

  • "Peachfuzz / Gasface Refill" (1990) from Mr. Hood.
  • "Who Me? / Humrush" (1991) from Mr. Hood.
  • "Nitty Gritty / Plumskinzz" featuring Brand Nubian (1991) from Mr. Hood.
  • "What a Niggy Know?" (1994) from Black Bastards.
  • "It Sounded Like a Roc" (1999) from Black Bastards.
  • "Notebook 01 – True Lightyears" featuring Jay Electronica and Doom (2017) from Crack In Time.

Music videos Edit

  • "Peachfuzz" (1991)
  • "Who Me?" (1991)
  • "What A Niggy Know?" (1994) - Unreleased

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 185/6. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  2. ^ "Lecture: DOOM (Madrid 2011)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Watch a 19-Year-Old MF Doom Testify Before Congress for Rock the Vote". November 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "Subroc Of KMD' Death In '94-Cage On The Last Night He Spent With Him – Rap Worlds Forums". Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  5. ^ CMJ New Music Report: March 14th 1994 edition (page 27). (PDF)
  6. ^ Coleman, Brian (April 10, 2016). "Check The Technique: The Birth of MF Doom". Medium. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  7. ^ Quinlan, Thomas (May 1, 2000). "KMD Black Bastards". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "Adult Swim Debuts New KMD Single "True Lightyears" With Jay Electronica + DOOM. New KMD Album Coming Soon". Nature Sounds. August 16, 2017. Archived from the original on September 9, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  9. ^ Carmichael, Rodney (August 16, 2017). "DOOM And Jay Electronica Debut 'True Lightyears,' Teasing A New KMD Album". NPR. Retrieved January 23, 2020.

External links Edit