Exactly 10 years ago yesterday was the release of Madvillainy, the seminal collaboration between enigmatic emcee DOOM and lauded producer Madlib. Both artists are fond of working under a variety of confusing pseudonyms and the nomenclature for this project (Madvillain– Madvillainy) is a mix of Mad(lib) and Villain to represent the sinister, Dr Doom inspired persona of DOOM.
The album is solid end to end, but worth highlighting is ‘Accordion’. Madlib’s sample heavy, hardware based style of production results in a central melancholic accordion riff. Notes lazily blur into one another, the lethargically acoustic sound playing off the ticking drum beat and a bassline that squelches with organic warmth.
Famed for his lyricism and dense wordplay, DOOM swaggers across the track in his distinctive gruff New Yawk drawl, riding the beat on an avalanche of assonance, twisted words and double meanings. A far cry from today’s raft of self-conscious fashion rappers, any hip-hop fan owes it to themselves to give Madvillainy a go. And if it’s to your taste, have a look at Madlib’s new collaboration with Freddie Gibbs, ‘Cocaine Piñata’.
– Bertie Jennings