Are surprise guest appearances at music festivals becoming a form of comedic entertainment?
This past weekend's 2019 Adult Swim Festival in Los Angeles featured two days of comedians and a wide variety of music from indie and metal to rap/hip hop artists. Flying Lotus was the Friday headliner performing under the name Captain Murphy and surprised fans by bringing out legendary rapper and collaborator MF DOOM.
Except it wasn't actually MF DOOM. It was Hannibal Buress in an MF DOOM mask. When Lotus stopped to pull off the mask revealing a smug Buress, fans were devastated.
As Complex pointed out, this stunt is likely a callback to similar situations in both DOOM and Buress' careers. There's an ongoing conspiracy that DOOM would actually send out body doubles to lip synch his songs. According to Wired, DOOM never engaged with his audience (even staff at the venues he performed in only ever saw him without the mask) and his shows enforced strict no photo/video policies.
In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, DOOM said this about his cryptic live appearances, "I tell you one thing: when you come to a DOOM show, come expecting to hear music, don't come expecting to see. You never know who you might see. It has nothing to do with a visual thing. Use your mind and think. I might be there. Next time I do a show, I might tell everybody to close they eyes."
Buress was apparently taking notes because in 2017 he sent an imposter to take his place on the red carpet for the Spiderman: Homecoming premiere.
Flying Lotus definitely upset some fans with a move like this, but it is pretty funny. Almost as funny as Drake getting booed off stage because he wasn't Frank Ocean.
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