While there have been a few hip-hop albums discussed on this blog you can't really say its a major focus of ours. Still I know at least a few members of the staff, and management, are into it.
Today, on my way into the office, I listened again to one of my favorite albums from the genre, Madvillainy by Madvillain. This project is a collaboration by two of the best in the game.
Madlib is one of the most eclectic and prolific producers in hip hop today. His albums sample sources ranging from bollywood and Brazilian music to jazz and reggae. He is a master of combining unlikely genres seamlessly. He is releasing one album per month in 2010.
MF Doom is one of the best known MCs in underground hip-hop today. His lyrics often are serious and insightful but he retains a sense of humor throughout. He never appears in public without a mask. He is a controversial figure in the scene. While generally respected as an excellent lyricist, his attitude towards live performance is, "unique". He has been caught sending other people out to perform posing as him, wearing his mask. He is unapologetic about this.
His alias is based on the comic book character Doom.
This album samples several artists familiar to this blog. Gentle Giant's self titled album is sampled in a song named for its source, Strange Ways. Steve Reich's trippy piece "Come Out" is sampled in America's Most Blunted. Clips of Sun Ra (featured here, here, and here) interviews are mixed with Quasimoto's (Madlib's pitch shifted alias) philosophical musings in Shadows of Tomorrow.
Even if your not a huge fan of hip-hop I recommend giving this album a shot. This is a little different then some other rap that you may have heard.
Unfortunately I can't attach a copy here. Stones Throw, the label who released this, is very aggressive about having their content removed from blogs. Rather then deal with that I am going to attach the two official music videos Madvillain made for this release. This album is readily available so if your interested at all you will be able to find it.
All Caps (One of my favorite cuts from the album)
I noticed a couple other tracks from Madvillainy on youtube when I was getting these. If you want to hear more go check them out.