The rule with Madlib albums — no matter who raps or sings or does whatever on them — is that even the lousy ones invariably contain at least a couple songs worth knowing, especially if you’re a fan. And the rule with collections of previously unreleased material — as Madlib’s third album as his helium-voiced layabout alter ego Quasimoto is — is that only a couple of things are going to turn your head. So call Yessir Whatever proof of its form two different ways — it’s not great like the pseudonym’s debut, 2000′s The Unseen, or even really good like its follow-up, 2005′s The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. Instead, these dozen songs culled from as many years’ worth of sessions manage to hang together while still being flagrantly unfinished, whether it’s “Youngblood” petering out shortly after a low-voiced Madlib intones, “I used to chase rabbits/ Now all I seem to chase are bad habits,” or the found spoken-word announcement, “Alcohol and drugs become crutches for people who can’t achieve closeness with others,” layered over local-radio-ad rock, circa 1968. We also get the original versions of DJ Design’s “Sparkdala” and The Unseen‘s “Green Power” — both vastly different from the available versions, enough to make you think that even as he scrapes his vaults, Madlib’s got more quality work laying around than you could fathom.
By Philip Cosores on 04.04.14 in Live in Pictures
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib perform at the Observatory in Santa Ana.
By Winston Cook-Wilson on 03.18.14 in Reviews
Over the past few years — arguably ever since 2011's Cold Day in Hell — Indiana street rapper Freddie Gibbs's music has become increasingly one-note. The prodigiously gifted MC has always treated his craft like an athlet...
By Tim Noakes on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Five months after Oh No dropped the Turkish, Lebanese and Greek sample-packed beat odyssey, Dr. No's Oxperiment, his older brother, LA-based hip-hop maverick Madlib, plundered Indian pop and Bollywood soundtracks to...
By Richard Gehr on 11.06.14 in Features
The son of cult members seeks a peaceful future in his music.