Though widely hailed for his elite lyricism, the late MF DOOM was also an accomplished producer in his own right. Under the name of Metal Fingers, DOOM released an entire series of instrumental projects — Special Herbs Vol 1-10 — not to mention several production placements within his own discography. As it happens, Metal Fingers actually laced four tracks on Ghostface Killah’s classic Fishscale, a project that recently celebrated its fifteen-year anniversary.
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We had a chance to speak with Ghostface about his experience connecting with DOOM, a fateful encounter that actually occurred through sheer happenstance. “I was on Project Rev, with Korn, Snoop, Linkin Park, all these guys,” he reflects, alluding to a 2004 tour. “I was on the Project Revolution tour with them. So I came across a CD that said Metal Fingers on it. And I never knew who Metal Fingers was. I ain’t know Doom was Metal Fingers.”
“So I think I might have told my manager like Yo, find this dude Metal Fingers and it winded up being MF Doom,” he continues. “He had beats that I liked to fuck with and that’s how it all came about. We reached out, called him, it was him. I was like oh snap. He came down to the studio and dropped off some beats, we started talking and stuff like that. That was the beginning.”
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Though several of DOOM’s beats ultimately went on to make the final Fishscale tracklist — “9 Milli Bros,” “Clipse Of DOOM,” “Jellyfish,” and “Underwater” — the enigmatic rapper was never actually in the studio with Ghost. “He just dropped off the beats,” explains Ghost, when asked about their collaborative process. “He just sent beats and I picked him out. I did my own writing but Doom was never there when I laid it down or did this and did that.”
Despite that, it’s clear that the pair’s stylistic inclinations proved quite harmonious, and they ultimately went on to make a memorable batch of Fishscale standouts. Not to mention their eventual work as DOOMSTARKS, a partnership that likely blossomed from those initial Fishscale joints. Rest in peace to Metal Fingers, and be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Ghostface Killah right here for even more hip-hop history.