Madvillany – Madvillan (2004)
Madvillan is the pairing of arguably two of the biggest names in Underground Hip-Hop, Madlib and MF Doom. Madlib, the producer from Oxnard, California has several underground hits at this point with The Lootpack, his experimental sounding raps as Quasimoto and his collaboration with one of the most influential Hip-Hop producer of his time, the Detroit-based J. Dilla for their Jaylib project. New York based rapper Doom has also had his string of successful underground hits, with his initial start with the group KMD, and his subsequent mixtapes and singles.
The album is actually Doom’s first album that was a commercial success. Major publications such as The Rolling Stones, The Washington Post and The New York Times all gave the album the praise that the album (at least in my opinion) deserved. Stones Throw Records, the label on which the album was released, had also signed a deal with Adult Swim to have some of its music used for the channels original content, which is why in the episode “Let’s Nab Oprah” on the show The Boondocks contains the song “All Caps”.www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dzeqoKnmqs
When it comes to breaking the album down as a record, it’s very difficult to find flaws when it comes to its production. Both Madlib and Doom were at the top of their game when they started working on this project. Madlib’s sample-heavy tracks use anything from Frank Zappa to Hindi records, while also adding brief intros and outros from Gunstar Heroes, The Justice League of America cartoon series from the 60s and even Street Fighter. While many people are thrown off by Doom’s rapping style which is very monotone at times, the content of his lyrics are the most interesting lines I’ve heard in recent years. From his opening lines in the track “Curls” (Villain get the money like curls / they just tryin’ to get a nut like squirrels in his mad world) to even a Pinky and the Brain reference in “Great Day Today”. There are a couple tracks that are instrumental only, but it doesn't feel out of place or too repetitive. They sit perfectly where they've been placed.
Honestly, this album became a favorite of mine in recent years, and I'm not the only one who feels this way. Madvillany almost felt like a response to a majority of rappers and producers of that time, who thought that they needed to emulate rappers such as Ja Rule and 50 Cent or Producers like Scott Storch. I would suggest anyone, regardless if they like Hip-Hop or not to check out this record.My Favorite Tracks:
Shadows of Tomorrow
Great Day Today