Madlib is one of the acts Portishead chose as a Ones To Watch in Issue 29 of Clash magazine, read more and download a free compilation of the tracks here.
… he’s possibly the only bloke taking hip-hop forward
For those that are hip-hop savvy, this guy might play as prevalent a place in your collection as it does in the band’s. Geoff suggests Madlib is probably well past the stage of being a One To Watch but as such a powerful force on his influences he has to go in here.
“There isn’t any analysation of what [Madlib] does. He just does,” Geoff explains. “It comes natural to him. I’m so envious of artists like that.”
There is no denying the genius that is Madlib, which stands for Mind Altering Demented Lessons In Beats, by the way. Over the last fifteen years the California-based workhorse has made a name for himself as a prolific hip-hop producer, rapper and DJ whilst remaining under the mainstream radar. Geoff adds: “The more experimental he gets, the better. He’s been around for years, as so he’s always been a name that’s out there. But it’s only in the last couple of years that he’s getting the credit he deserves.”
His production has graced the works of a myriad of hip-hop stars including The Alkaholiks, De La Soul, Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, A.G., MF DOOM (as Madvillain) and the late J Dilla (as Jaylib).
Described as bookish, he releases his albums at a ridiculously fast rate under a plethora of pseudonyms, notably Quasimoto, to huge critical acclaim displaying an expansive, inventive style, a deft touch for composition, with a reverence for jazz and soul. Geoff calls him “the Frank Zappa of hip-hop” and adds: “he’s possibly the only bloke taking hip-hop forward; that’s a massive weight to have on his shoulders.”
“He played ATP,” Geoff continues. “Unfortunately he was put on the ginormous stage that didn’t work for him so well. He’s just done some of Erykah Badu’s record. Although, that’s not necessarily a good indication of how good he is.”
Listen to: The Quasimoto albums, ‘The Unseen’ and ‘The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas’, and the Jaylib album, ‘Champion Sound’.
Fact: Madlib’s hometown, Oxnard, California, is known for being a strawberry and lime bean capital.