MF DOOM's legacy and its proper preservation hangs in the balance in a legal battle between his widow, Jasmine Dumile Thompson, and his former collaborator and label executive, Eothen "Egon" Alapatt. Moreover, the latter claims that the former's lawsuit against him for allegedly stealing DOOM's notebooks from a Los Angeles studio is "baseless and libelous." Egon's attorney Kenneth Freundlich expressed in a court filing on Tuesday (November 14) that this year-long narrative falsely represents his client's character and misunderstands the situation. For those unaware, Thompson claimed that Egon unrightfully bought 31 "rhyme books" of original material, ideas, "musings, and other creative ideations" from the aforementioned studio's landlord.
This was when DOOM was out of the United States, as he left for his birthplace of London in 2010 for a show and was not allowed reentry into the U.S. based on immigration issues. Furthermore, Thompson and her legal team allege that Egon never consulted with MF DOOM about this purchase. When he asked for them back, she claims, the former Stones Throw manager "delayed, obfuscated and deflected" while refusing to return them. Not only that, but the New York MC's widow claims that Egon actively went against his wishes that they remain "secret and confidential." Instead, he wants them to go to into a public archive.
MF DOOM Performing In London In 2013
On the other hand, in Tuesday's legal response, Egon and his team admitted to assuming ownership of MF DOOM's notebooks, but denied that he was their legal owner when they came into Egon's possession, which is why he bought them from the L.A. studio's landlord, which also had a lot of unpaid rent. If not for this, they allege, then this entity would've put the pads up for purchase or destroyed them altogether. In addition, they claimed that Egon reached out to DOOM to get these back to him, but that he never followed up and "seemed to have completely forgotten his prior discussion" with the executive. One thing that this response confirmed is that Egon will only return the notebooks if a digital version of them goes to an archive, of which his attorneys suggested "the Cornell Hip-Hop Archive, the Smithsonian, or another accredited archive of their choosing."
Meanwhile, Freundlich claims this initiative would preserve and champion "precious artifacts of hip-hop history." "Scholars and researchers [can] study DOOM’s creativity and further entrench his creative genius- not just in hip-hop, but in [United States] history. Rather than accept [Egon]’s generous offer, plaintiffs chose to continue their hurtful, and defamatory attacks against [him] by filing this frivolous complaint." For more news and the latest updates on MF DOOM, stay logged into HNHH.