In the last week, Talib Kweli publicly called out music executive Eothen “Egon” Alapatt for allegedly stealing rhyme books belonging to the late MF DOOM. Egon is Madlib’s manager and business partner, who was formerly the A&R and general manager of Stones Throw Records, before launching Now-Again, Rappcats, and assisting in the business of the Madlib Invazion imprint. While at Stones Throw, Egon worked closely on DOOM and Madlib’s 2004 madvillainy album, released under their group name Madvillain.
Kweli, posting screenshots of a business disagreement (embedded below) with Egon over email, captioned: “Today all I want to know is why Egon stole [a] MF DOOM rhyme book and refuses to give it back to DOOM family, even after MF DOOM passed away. MF DOOM officiated this mans wedding FOR FREE, but then later stopped rocking with him because of his devil ways,” the MC wrote. Kweli added that Egon had blocked is Instagram. The Brooklyn, New Yorker asked fans to tag Egon, demanding explanation for his alleged behavior from him. “The era of the culture vulture is OVER,” finished Kweli, who currently hosts The People’s Party With Talib Kweliwhich Madlib previously appeared on.
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now, HipHopDX‘s Kyle Eustice obtained a statement from DOOM’s widow, Jasmine Dumile, that corroborates Talib’s allegations. “We can confirm Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt is illegally in possession of rhyme books owned by MF DOOM,” Jasmine said to DX. “There have been many unsuccessful attempts to get these back prior to DOOM’s passing. We had hoped after DOOM transitioned Egon would do the right thing and return the books to the family but he has continued to ignore these requests.” DOOM, aka Daniel Dumile, passed away during October 2020. The public learned of his death two months later, leading to deep mourning within the Hip-Hop community.
Notably, Jasmine Dumile added that Egon is not alone is misdoings surrounding DOOM’s assets. “Unfortunately, Egon is not the only former associate abusing the likeness, art and life’s work of DOOM, more will be said at the appropriate time.” During his life, DOOM recorded with a number of labels and collaborated with a litany of artists.
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The rhyme books in question may be related to an Adult Swim collaboration that fans got a taste of in August 2017. The Missing Notebook Rhymes was a series the network began sharing over a planned 15-week rollout. Those songs included a relaunch of KMD, and collaborations with Jay Electronica, Alchemist, and Westside Gunn. However, that September, the series ended abruptly. The public was informed: “Adult Swim is ending our relationship with DOOM, and thus, the remaining Missing Notebook Rhymes will unfortunately have to remain…missing. We are glad to have had the chance to provide the previous free tracks to our fans.” The songs were all removed.
Kweli’s public callout of Egon comes months after Black Star released its second album, No Fear Of Time, which was produced entirely by Madlib. That album is exclusive to the Luminary podcast platform. In the screenshots shared by Talib, Egon was apparently attempting to finalize a monetary offer on behalf of Madlib for the album. Kweli alleges that Egon was seeking $500,000 for his Madlib’s role in the album. In that exchange, Egon said he would no longer communicate with Kweli—who partnered with Madlib for liberation in the mid-2000s and had appeared on several Stones Throw titles.
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Kweli also shared slides of others calling out Egon for Black Star album delays, as well as screenshots from Your Old Droog making light of Egon. YOD is another Brooklyn MC who has worked recently with Madlib.
Notably, Kweli condemned Egon as a culture vulture. “One day the Hip-Hop community is going to have to discuss what a lying, stealing, conniving culture vulture Eothen Apalatt aka Egon from Now-Again Records is. This is a non Black person who routinely takes advantage of Black artists and brags about it,” he wrote. Kweli alleged that Egon may have upset J Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey.
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Kweli also pointed to Now-Again’s acquisition of catalogs and how those rights are used against artists. “We need to discuss how he uses the money he steals from iconic Hip-Hop artists to buy up catalogs of unsuspecting older Black artists and then hordes the music so that he can decide what gets sampled and what doesn’t depending on how much money he personally makes off of music he doesn’t create. He plays no instruments, he writes no rhymes, he sings no songs, he makes no beats, but he brags to me about how he has a $3 million dollar house with money stashed in the walls during negotiations for the artists he used to work with .” Music peers including Sa-Roc, King Britt, and Narcy extended their support and alluded to experience in the post.
Egon has not publicly responded to the allegations against him. Last year, he told rolling stone‘s Jason Newman about DOOM officiating his 2009 wedding. Earlier this year, Egon appeared on Logic’s Vinyl Days album.
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In 2022, DOOM verses have appeared on Black Thought & Danger Mouse’s cheat codes album as well as Sonnyjim & The Purist’s White Girl Wasted.
#BonusBeat: Talib Kweli speaks about his appreciation for madvilliany in a video filmed by Ambrosia For Heads: