16. Madvillainy by Madvillain
By: Jonathan Linds
|Madvillainy by Madvillain|
In a decade where most rap albums were bloated and overlong, Madvillainy's 45-some minutes are tightly packed with ideas. Producer Madlib has the incredible ability to stretch a sample to its limits, warping it beyond recognition. Lib crafted many of the beats on Madvillainy in Brazil, using nothing more than a 300-dollar sampler, a borrowed tape deck and a little herbal inspiration.
Doom, at the peak of his skills here, deftly hops from role to role; from the wide-pupiled mushroom-inspired prognosticator on "Strange Ways", to the schizophrenic jilted lover on "Fancy Clown". His woozy flow fits Madlib's off-kilter beats like a square peg in a round hole, and somehow sounds all the better for it. People accuse the masked villain of ignoring the beat altogether, but if you really want to hear a rapper go off-beat, just listen to Madvillainy 2. Madlib's remix project was intriguing, but lacked the symbiotic energy of the original. These two mad scientists need to need to be in the lab together, feeding off each other's weirdness (or at least getting high together). When this unholy union does finally reunite, their demented creative offspring will be one of the things to look forward to most in the new decade.
Video: "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Madvillain