Nearly three years after his shocking death at 49 in 2020, late rapper MF Doom‘s wife has revealed what caused her husband’s passing. The British-born MC (born Daniel Dumile), died on Oct. 31, 2020 of what was then deemed “unknown causes” by wife Jasmine Dumile; the artist’s passing wasn’t announced until two months after his death.
According to Leeds Live, an inquest has found that Doom died after his condition “suddenly deteriorated” while he was in the hospital. Wife Jasmine Dumile told the outlet that her husband was in good shape, but had been suffering from a number of health issues at the time, including kidney disease and high blood pressure, which led to weight gain and anxiety.
She said Doom had been prescribed ACE inhibitors to treat his blood pressure but after just two doses he developed breathing problems, which sent him to the ER after his tongue and throat swelled. She said the rapper called her in distress from the hospital when the swelling got worse and, she told an inquest hearing, she then used a second phone to directly alert the nurses on duty.
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions then in place, Jasmine said she could not visit her husband in the hospital until Oct. 31. “That’s when the respirator was turned off that was helping him breathe,” she told investigators. The inquest found that on Oct. 21, Doom had complained that he couldn’t breathe and attempted to get out of his hospital bed before collapsing and suffering respiratory arrest.
Jasmine’s legal team has reportedly asked questions about how often medical staff at St. James Hospital in Leeds checked in on the rapper and why there was an alleged two-hour delay in giving him medication for his throat swelling. The inquest also reportedly heard that Doom’s condition was being closely monitored by the hospital staff and that he’d shown signs of getting better, including elevated oxygen levels and the ability to speak with doctors.
Doctors did note, however, that the swelling of his tongue, throat and lips was a “rare” side-effect of the ACE inhibitors, which caused a condition called angiodema (a swelling similar to hives, but which takes place under the skin instead of on the surface). The outlet also reported that following Doom’s death the hospital trust carried out a “serious incident investigation” to determine what lessons could be learned from the case; the inquiry into Doom’s death is reportedly ongoing.
In a post announcing his death in Dec. 2020, Jasmine wrote, “To Dumile, The greatest husband, father, teacher, student, business partner, lover and friend I could ever ask for. Thank you for all the things you have shown, taught and given to me, our children and our family. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive beings and give another chance, not to be so quick to judge and write off. Thank you for showing how not to be afraid to love and be the best person I could ever be. My world will never be the same without you.”
Dumile was born in London and moved with his family to New York as a child. Under the stage name Zev Love X, he co-founded the rap trio K.M.D. with his brother Dingilizwe, who went by DJ Subroc. Dumile first hit the Billboard charts as a member of K.M.D., which notched a pair of top 20 hits on Hot Rap Songs in 1991: “Peachfuzz” and “Who Me?” His brother’s April 1993 death in a car crash at age 19 caused Dumile to take a break from the industry before returning to rap in 1997 and adopting the MF Doom persona, modeled after Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom. From then on, he always performed wearing his signature metallic mask.