Exclusive – Legendary Hip Hop group 3rd Bass helped introduce Zev Love X — better known as MF DOOM — to the world with an appearance on “The Gas Face” single and video in 1989, launching the enigmatic MC into another realm. From there, DOOM diligently worked on establishing his own solo career after his brother and fellow member of KMD, Subroc, was killed.
In a new installment of the Did I Ever Tell You The One About…podcast exclusively sent to HipHopDX, host MC Serch explores the life of MF DOOM alongside members of the late Hip Hop icon’s family and friends. During the inaugural episode, MC Serch recalls a funny memory involving Subroc and Serch’s infamous high-top fade that actually has a more complicated history than one may realize.
“One of my favorite memories being at that house on Hudson street was the day that Subroc decided to give me a high-top fade,” Serch says. “We’re all in the basement, it was a Friday night and we were all getting our cuts and typically, Subroc would really clean up my Jew ‘fro. I had these really kinky curls, I was Jewish and … you get it. All of a sudden, he just said, ‘You know Serch, you probably could have a high-top fade.’
“And the whole GYP [Get Yours Posse] looked around and were like, ‘No. You think?’ And he started edging me up. And he started ediging me up and he started cleaning up the sides, had the comb on the top and when he finished, everybody in the GYP was like, ‘Oh shit. That’s crazy.’ I didn’t need any hairspray. It just was there.”
That wasn’t the last time Subroc would style MC Serch’s hair. In 1989, he shaved “3rd Bass” into the back of his head for the aforementioned “Gas Face” video and “KMD” for KMD’s 1991 “Peach Fuzz” video. But the real story behind the “3rd Bass” high-top fade has never been told — until now.
Serch was running late for a photoshoot and Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, who’d signed 3rd Bass to the label, was anxious for him to get on set. But Serch didn’t have time to get to Long Beach for Subroc to do his cut, so he wound up at Astor Place, a Big Apple barbershop that supposedly specialized in custom designs.
The Far Rockaway native showed the barber what he wanted, but the barber was unable to execute it properly and certainly not in a way Subroc was able to at any given time (“Subroc was nice with the clippers!” Serch says.”)
But Serch had to make due and the cover of 3rd Bass’ 1989 debut, The Cactus Album, wound up being the bootleg version of Subroc’s “3rd Bass” high-top fade, a photo Serch still dislikes to this day.
“The Gas Face” video, however, did get it right. In fact, there’s a subtle Astor Place diss in the clip that many people may have missed over the years. As Prime Minister Pete Nice spits around the 1:48-minute mark, “Subroc etch you with the clippers,” Subroc covers the “B” in “3rd Bass” on the back of Serch’s head, so it just reads “ass.”
The first episode of the Did I Ever Tell You The One About…MF DOOM podcast premieres on October 25 via The Timeless Podcast Company in conjunction with The Orchard. Find more information here and be sure to check out the latest offering from the TPC, Breaking Anonymity, which focuses on addiction and recovery.