KMD (Kausing Much Damage, or A positive Kause in a Much Damaged society) was an American hip hop trio active in the early 1990s. The group is best known for launching the career of rapper and producer Zev Love X, who later became MF Doom. Zev Love X and his younger brother DJ Subroc formed the core of KMD. The group’s original third member, Rodan, left before the group signed to Elektra Records; he was replaced with Onyx the Birthstone Kid.
Zev Love X, DJ Subroc and Rodan formed KMD in Long Beach, New York, in 1988. The three were Black Muslims active in the Allah Ansaar community. Onyx the Birthstone Kid soon replaced Rodan, 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. 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. »
The group recorded their follow up, Black Bastards, in 1993. 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 « Plumskinnz » (the B-side to the « Nitty Gritty » single off Mr. Hood), which was included on Black Bastards as two separate tracks, « Plumskinnz (Loose Hoe, God & Cupid) » (Zev Love X’s verse) and « Plumskinnz (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.
Shortly before Black Bastards scheduled release date Subroc was killed while attempting to cross a Long Island expressway. Elektra Records dropped KMD later the same week. The album’s title and cover art proved too controversial for Elektra’s management, 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 formally released on Bobbito Garcia’s Fondle ‘Em Records in 1998. Zev Love X dropped out of the New York hip hop scene until 1997 when he reemerged as MF DOOM.
Who Me? (Mr.Hood (1991)) (Lyrics)
Peach Fuzz (Mr.Hood (1991)) (Lyrics)
Soulflexin’ (Mr.Hood (1991)) (Lyrics)
Nitty Gritty feat. Brand Nubian (Mr.Hood (1991)) (Lyrics)
It Sounded Like a Roc (Black Bastards (1994)) (Lyrics)