The History of Hip-Hop’s Masked Rappers

Masked Rappers
L-R: Kanye West, Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage; MF DOOM, Photo by C Brandon/Redferns; Leikeli47, Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images When RMR – pronounced “ rumor ” – briefly captured the internet ‘s attention with his country-infused ballad Rascal, he did so anonymously. Behind a snuggly match balaclava embroidered with lashings of amber thread spelling out his name, RMR flaunted his falsetto, singing about his rise to the top to the tune of Rascal Flatts ‘ 1994 hit, Bless The Broken Road. The viral hit garnered mass media care and the enigmatic asterisk balked at revealing any tangible details about himself .
Masks, whether they come in the form of balaclava, ski masks or automaton helmets, have always been emblematic of anonymity and rebellion. Hip-hop has always been defiant, so it ‘s no surprise that many rappers rally against the fundamental law of fame by protecting their privacy .
UK exercise music has long been a “ guarded subculture, ” Ciaran Thapar wrote for The Face, pointing out that masks have become an integral part of these rappers uniforms. here, it is done in arrange to avoid police surveillance, rival gangs, crimson attacks, or even church service pastors .
then there ‘s rap legend MF DOOM, who dons his masquerade to separate the art from the artist. People began caring about “ what things looked like as opposed to what things sound like, ” he explained in an interview with Red Bull Music Academy. “ Before videos, you were going off the sound of the records, straight skills. once hip-hop became more of a money-making thing, then you get these corporate ideas where you wan na put what it looks like to sell what it sounds like – but we ‘re dealing with music. ”

In a genre where recognition and individuality are critical to an artist ‘s success, no two masks are always made the same .


In 1997, MF DOOM arrived onto the rap scene wearing a mask inspired by Marvel villain, Doctor Doom. Born in London and raised in Long Beach, New York Doom ( fka Daniel Dumile ) set the cake for anonymity in the music diligence long ahead Daft Punk arrived with their bright helmets. The broad magnitude of his influence is hard to muster when you consider his deep discography, classical debut album or his aesthetic flare .

Kanye West 

It ‘s no secret that Kanye is a fan of Martin Margiela and his eponymous fashion house, MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. Both are outliers in their respective industries, known for breaking the rules and creating new trends. While Kanye has never been one to obscure his identity, he did don this incredible couture crystal-embellished facemask designed by Margiela during his Yeezus go in 2012. He is n’t the only knocker to have a abbreviated flirt with cover-ups. Everyone from Tech N9ne, Ghostface Killah and Eminem to Jay-Z, Young Buck and 50 penny have worn masks .


few early artists have adopted a masquerade as separate of their identity that has committed to the function quite like MF Doom. however, one artist that shows him up is Brooklyn’s Leikeli47, who since arriving on the picture in 2017 has no discernible wallpaper trail revealing her real identity. There are n’t even any previous photograph of her face. The knocker ‘s singular desegregate of Detroit theater, Jersey bounce and straight-up trap music is boisterous and energetic. She ‘s adopted bandannas and ski masks to hide her identity, and unlike Doom whose cover is underscored by the iniquity of villain, Doctor Doom, Leikeli is inspired by superheroes. “ I feel like the Dark Knight, or one of those superheroes, or Superman, ” she told Vibe in an interview. “ The mask, it represents freedom. I ‘m spare with it on. ”


Drill artist SL uses his ski mask to protect himself. The 19-year-old who rarely does interviews arrived on the picture in 2018 and is notably reserved, timid, constantly plotting his adjacent be active. The dissemble is a symptom of these traits. fame and notoriety are n’t things he values and a abbreviated brush with the law, in which he was arrested, saw him double down on ensuring his anonymity. He does n’t want to be targeted and as a big actor in the UK drill scene, that would be ineluctable if it were n’t for his ski disguise .

Lord Felix

In 2019, Lord Felix made a stir with his music and got people talking with his reflective bill — which he ‘s constantly wearing. The Boston rapper has never revealed his age, although he might be somewhere in his 20s and his real name might be Felix Van Buren, but he insists that clue is him trolling us. Besides the barely details about who Lord Felix is, one thing for certain is his electronic-infused, guitar-heavy rap is the kind of thing summery reverie are made of.


Yet there ‘s one rapper that prefers his mask off …

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Category : Fashion

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