Back on double vinyl. Madlib continues to travel to where no beatmaker has gone before. Don't get me wrong, the Beatkonducta and the collaboration releases have been stellar, but it seems that YNQ is Madlib's real passion... especially this particular album. Madlib steps up the signature randomness here, you can see it in the track order, titles, and expanded cast of aliases. Get into the music, and it only gets deeper. I tried to give this a listen sitting at my desk, but it's so dense and thoughtful, that I felt like I needed to be at home to truly absorb this mind meld. Here's a little bit of categorization to get you started. Beats: "Street Talkin, She's Gonna Stay (some truly beautiful shit), Free Son, Vibes From The Tribe Suite (a 12 minute cover of Phil Ranelin's classic). Jazz things: "Marcus, Martin & Malcolm, Bitches Brew, Two For Strata East," and "Slave Riot." From a design perspective, this is one of my favorite sleeves of recent memory. Inside, you'll find fictitious but super-realistic record sleeves (done in 70s independent jazz style) from YNQ's imaginary world. 15 tracks, highly recommended.
- music label: Stones Throw 2007