Madlib is on point and in focus bringing with him his usual assortment of samples only a true loop digger could find. With the help of a large group of talented and hungry MC's, this is exactly the type of album that true underground hip hop fiends salivate over. If you are in this group I would recommend that you wear a bib when you listen to the record. There's a lot more to say, but that's the long and short of it. Hit that more link if you need further exposition/explanation or if you are just the curious type.
...I doubt anyone would ever say that Madlib doesn't have too many side projects.
While I have always appreciated many of these, sometimes I start to wonder about the man's focus. For instance how when in the middle of an ill Quasimoto track all of a sudden the music will stop and be replaced by something sounding like a 1950's television ad. His acid-jazz projects are intriguing, but sometimes I don't always love every track on the album; the Beat Konducta series has moments of brilliance that come with many "you gotta be high out of your mind" moments that my lifestyle doesn't particularly vibe with. That said, when Madlib gets behind the boards with 100% focus to produce a no-nonsense Hip-Hop record, you had best hold on to your shit because your mind will be blown. For fans of Stones Throw Record's most prolific artist, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know (and perhaps to all ten of you out there - only ten because of site traffic not because of Madlib's insane talent - I may be oversimplifying things a bit) but for everyone else Madlib has blessed the Hip Hop fan with a number of classic albums like his collaboration with MF Doom as "Madvillain" on Madvillany and his collaboration with the late-great J. Dilla as "Jaylib" on Champion Sound it seems that Madlib - when paired with the right MC's - can nearly always create something magical (yes, like "fighting dragons and shit" magical). This set is yet another example of this.
Some of the MC's that Madlib has cozied up to here are names that are well known in the west coast underground Hip Hop scene - notably Phil Da Agony, Guilty Simpson, Evidence and Planet Asia - while others are somewhat less well known (at least to me) such as Mitchy Slick. Although presumably an album by a group - whose members are Phil Da Agony, Krondon (for me of The Rules fame), and Mitchy Slick - the sheer number of guest spots would seemingly create the feeling of a compilation rather than an outing by a singular group. However, to the credit of those that are involved here (and especially Madlib) this is a surprisingly consistent and coherent album. As the criticism might be against other group projects in this spot (think Group Home without Primo) i'm not sure that I would want to listen to an album by this group without the super producer behind the boards. That is not to say that these guys don't bring some sick rhymes with them, but just that I feel that without the...