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Various Artists
Stones Throw Hip Hop Essential Bundle
Stones Throw
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 8, 2020

Madvillain - Madvillainy

American hip hop duo Madvillain - comprised of rapper MF Doom and acclaimed producer Madlib - released their debut album Madvillainy in 2004. Built from a series of short, abstract tracks, Madlib's characteristically swinging production - detailed, slick and very different to much commercial hip hop of the time - made this a stand out release. MF Doom is at his best too, his cutting but easy flowing lyrical talents allowed to shine alongside Madlib's eclectic sampling. It still sounds like little else, and remains arguably one of the best and most inventive hip hop albums of recent times.

Quasimoto - The Unseen

Madlib slipped behind the curtain and returned in 2000 under his Quasimoto cloak for this offering of typically velvety West Coast hip hop. The story goes that the record was both envisaged and created during the midst of a 7-day psilocybin mushroom journey. The cartoony flow on Microphone Mathematics and the cloudy turntable magic of Disciples 99 Pt. 1 might point to a more psychedelic sound palette but they all harness that Stones Throw hallmark; an undefinably effortless cool alongside refreshing, off-centre productions.

J Dilla - Ruff Draft

In retrospect, Ruff Draft proved to mark a turning point in Dilla's career. He spent the '90s making a name for himself as an all-around, top-notch hip-hop producer. First arriving on the scene with his own group Slum Village in his native Detroit, Dilla would establish himself throughout the decade on classic tracks for A Tribe Called Quest, Common, The Pharcyde and De La Soul, eventually branching out to work with a variety of heavy-hitters in hip-hop and R&B, from Busta Rhymes and The Roots to D'Angelo and Erykah Badu. In contrast to the often understated, mellow vibes and minimal, crisp drumbeats he brought to the boards for those groups, Ruff Draft revealed to those who heard it the first time around a whole new side to Dilla's musical genius. Freewheeling, in-your-face synthesizers, blend perfectly with an uncharacteristically sample-heavy approach that was as bangin' as it was experimental. And, as he indicated in the intro to the album, it's supposed to bump in your car like an old cassette one of those well-loved ones that get played over and over and over.

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