Using alliteration and assonance like he is sitting a GCSE English exam, DOOM spits pure flames over every single beat given to him and comes out looking like an absolute genius, which he undoubtedly deserves while sitting atop of his throne as rap’s wordplay king.
Madvillain is a hip-hop supergroup formed by two legendary MC’s and Producers Madlib and MF DOOM, this was their sole release and it was brought out in 2004 as one of the most highly anticipated rap albums of all time; particularly in the underground scene where DOOM was a legend of the game. The album was never going to be a commercial success but that isn’t the purpose of this release, the underground scene were asking for this and it was duly delivered by two of hip-hop’s most gifted artists. Just about every single publication has put this thing in it’s greatest albums of all time lists and that is completely understandable really, hence why I am here reviewing it now.
The wordplay is an instant hit on this, it could well be the finest example of hip-hop lyricism of this generation with DOOM showing off his incredible rap IQ and combining seemingly impossible rhymes (a personal favourite is “slick like Freudian, your first and last steps to playing yourself like Accordion”. Absolute genius). Whether it is the metaphoric use of comparing himself to people like Barry White or his ability to twist words like on America’s Most Blunted, DOOM proves why he truly is one of the GOAT’s on this album. Using alliteration and assonance like he is sitting a GCSE English exam, DOOM spits pure flames over every single beat given to him and comes out looking like an absolute genius, which he undoubtedly deserves while sitting atop of his throne as rap’s wordplay king.
Madlib’s production on this album is nothing short of sensational, it is the sole reason this album flows so elegantly and the short snappy anthems created on here, such as the under 90 second track Sickfit or the two minute long Meat Grinder leave you with more slickness and creativity than you get from five minute tracks these days. Madlib’s production styles reign supreme here as he again uses his usual system of using samples from obscure albums recorded all over the world including India and Brazil. The Jazz and neo-Soul samples are a thing of beauty and give the record a timeless feel which is very rarely replicated with a hip-hop album in the modern era. If slick production is your thing, then this sure is the album for you, it is an all you can eat buffet of sonic enjoyment.
Basically, this album is exactly what people will have wanted and expected and so much more, it brings the absolute best out of both DOOM and Madlib as they compliment each other’s styles with such eloquent simplicity and the euphoria of this album is simply magnificent. We are truly treated to every single aspect of a great hip-hop album and what Madvillainy does is stand out on it’s own as an underground hip-hop project which shattered it’s own glass ceiling and made the rest of the world take notice. Hip-hop has never been the same again since this album, whether it is from the genius sampling of Madlib which has influenced so many others after him or the vocal clinic MF DOOM puts on for us all where he balances lyrical fusion with an ice-cold flow.