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Editorial / Main

Madvillainy: 11 Years Later

“So nasty that it’s probably somewhat of a travesty…”

— DOOM

It’s all entertainment. When it comes to the rap game, you often need to take the character most artists portray both on stage – and on wax – with a grain of salt. Whether most of them reveal it or not, they wear a “mask” (so to speak). Without argument no artist plays a character better MF DOOM. While donning his trademark tin mask, he tackles beats with no regard for your thought process. He never breaks character, even in the streets. Why? DOOM himself describes it as freeing, by forcing listeners to focus on the music itself. He tested this theory by using fake DOOMs for a string of shows as few years back. Results were mixed, by which I means terrible.

Irregardless today marks an anniversary for the metal faced villain.

It’s been exactly 11 years since the release of Madvillainy, the collaboration album between the always interesting MF Doom DOOM and brilliant producer Madlib. The album still, and always will stand as a testament to alternative hip-hop at it’s rawest. The album, stitched together as a collection of seemingly random gems, was non-commercial, creative and packaged with one of the most haunting covers I’ve ever come across.

The album, in hindsight, did a few things really well. Firstly, It took DOOM to another level. His previous project Mm Food was dope, and had DOOM’s trademark sound, but this project seemed more polished. As seemingly random as it was, it was all orchestrated. DOOM showed many faces – he was a pimp, a pothead, a disgruntled boyfriend, a hustler and a troubled soul. He created a body of work that definitely requires multiple listens. Secondly, it really solidified Madlib as the shit. Not to say he wasn’t dope before this – his work has been fire since Lootpack. But Madvillainy was a whole new plane as far as I’m concerned. From Accordion and Money Folder to All Caps and Rhinestone Cowboy, his sound was eerie, inspiring and beautiful.

DOOM never really topped this album in my mind, and it’s an album I’ll probably listen to and love it years from now. It stands as a milestone in the Stones Throw catalogue. What it lacked in structure, coherence and adherence to commercial standards it more than made up for with creativity, production and sheer dopeness.

Remember, all caps when you spell the man’s name!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4iR668Ki3I&app=desktop

Riley About Author

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns