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Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib) // Madvillainy // Stones Throw Records

In memory of Daniel Dumile, best known as MF Doom.

Madvilliany is iconic, plain and simple. The brainchild between two leading voices in hip-hop, rap, and the underground; Madvilliany is a blur of deep cut samples, lyricism, and two creatives colliding with the common goal of breaking the mold of what people expected.

As nothing less than fitting, the album was conceived in more than unusual situations. While both MF Doom and Madlib had garnered a significant amount of attention from their past work, both had seemingly taken an exit from hip-hop to explore other avenues prior to this release. Madvilliany was the return to hip-hop, little did they know their union would change the course of hip-hop and culture. Since it’s release Madvillainy has been hailed by countless publications “greatest of all time” album lists from Rolling Stone, NME, and even non-music based publications such as The New Yorker. The album was recorded between 2002 and 2004, with nearly the entire album being produced by Madlib during his travels. During that time Madlib was recording in hotel rooms and wherever he could build make-shift labs where he crafted the sound. In an interview with Pitchfork, Madlib mentions that the majority of the record was created during his stay in Brazil and that he was in a “creative spell that couldn’t be broken”. With Madlib at the helm of the beats, it left MF Doom to do what he does best, captive lyrically through his unique take on storytelling.

No hooks. No choruses. Just bare bones raps over carefully hand selected beats. There is a reason why the album has been able to stand the test of time. The music had no rules, which set a new gold standard for countless artists to come.

In short Madvillian was the gate-way for many into the world of hip-hop, eclectic beats, mind-bending rhymes and raw story-telling. Just as Nas’ Illmatic and Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) did, Madvilliany ushered in an entire new generation of artists with a new level of confidence to be creatively independent.


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