"Madlib tha bad kid, all up in your ear hole"
Otis Jackson Jr. (a.k.a Madlib) was born and raised in Oxnard, CA, and that is where he first learned the ways and the roots of hip-hop. His father Otis Jackson Sr. was a soul singer, and eventually help Madlib launch his music career. It was 1993 when The Alkaholiks introduced us two unknown trio called the Lootpack, Cracka Jack (later known as Wildchild), Madlib, and Dj Romes. The track was called "Turn Tha Party Out", and it was probably the highlight of Tha Liks debut album, "21 & Over". In 1996, Lootpack released their debut EP "Ill Psyche Move" on their CDP (Crate Diggas Palace), and legend began. Back then Madlib produced the beats and laid down someone the most subdued and rhythmic rhymes that I have ever heard. His flow was almost hypnotic. It was this EP that caught the eye and ear of Stone Throw's founder Peanut Butter Wolf, and the Lootpack were signed. They released their debut Lp in 1999, the underground masterpiece "Soundpieces: Da Antidote!". Madlib was the Beat Konducta and Wildchild was the Ryhme Constructa, it was the perfect combination. Madlib was roughly chopping up old jazz and soul records at time when other producer where making cookie cutter manufactured beats, and the difference was clear. This was the first time that we heard from Madlib's first alter-ego Quasimoto, who is create by rhyming over slow down beats so when they are brought to a normally the vocals become high pitched. Quasimoto's first solo album in 2000, "The Unseen" was Madlib's biggest success as a rapper and producer. However, he wanted to achieve success in other areas of his career.
Madlib has gone on to be the most prolific producer/DJ/Mc in the history of hip-hop. He is consistently making music, in a recent interview he had this to say about making music; "I don’t really do anything other than make beats. I’m either in the studio or with a chick. So I make a lot of tracks". From his simple start in a West Cost rap group, Madlib has branched off to create numerous alias and partnerships, among them Yesterday's New Quintet, Dj Rels, Jaylib, Madvillian, Sound Directions, and so on. According to Stones Throw, Madlib has appeared on in some form or another 123 records/tracks since 1993.
What I enjoy about Madlib is his attitude towards music and the industry in general. He is not in this fame, or bling, or even money, he has this internal beat that simply has to come out. My favorite of all of his monikers is sound of Yesterday's New Quintet (YNQ). Madlib records and produces each of the part of these jazz influenced albums himself. They are a unique form of jazz, while retaining many of the aspects of hip-hop. His compositions are at times brief and choppy, but their backbone and flow is always firmly in place.
This summer Madlib will be release two new albums and the reissue of Jaylib's "Champion Sound". The first will be the third installment of his Beat Konducta series "Beat Konducta Vol. 3: In India", and shortly there after will be his latest YNQ product "Yesterday's Universe" on July 17th.
Download: Masala (mp3)
Enter: Hot Curry/Indian Hump/Movie Finale/Raw Tranquility Pt. 3/Freeze/Masala/Onthatnewthing/Indian Deli/The umble/Dancing Girls Theme/Piano Garden/Dark Alley Incidental Music/Early Party/Fifth Chant/The Rip Off (Scene 3)/Sitar Ride
01. Otis Jackson Jr Trio - Bitches Brew (M. Davis)
02. The Jahari Massamba Unit featuring Karriem Riggins Trio - Umoja (Unity)
03. Young Jazz Rebels - Slave Riot (D. Smith)
04. The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble - One for the Monica Lingas Band
05. Kamala Walker and The Soul Tribe - Street Talkin'
06. The Jazzistics - Marcus, Martin & Malcolm
07. Suntouch - Two for Strata East
08. Sound Directions - She's Gonna Stay
09. The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble - Cold Nights And Rainy Days
10. Otis Jackson Jr Trio - Free Son
11. Jackson Conti - Barumba (L.Eca, Bebeto)
12. Ahmad Miller - Sunny C (California)
13. The Eddie Prince Fusion Band - Mtume's Song
14. Yesterday's Universe All Stars - Vibes from the Tribes Suite (For Phil)
15. Jackson Conti - Upa Neguinho
Download: Madlib "Live at Chocolate City" circa 2001 (mp3)
(Photo at top by Hannes Mezger)