Back in the 90s, “beat tapes,” as a Hip Hop producer’s demo-reel is now quaintly referred to, were literally that: cassette tapes of beats that a producer made either for himself, his friends, or for potential collaborators. As you can imagine, Madlib made a bunch of ’em in the days between his early productions for the Alkaholiks (circa ’92) and the release of his Quasimoto album (2000) – after which he took a couple of years off of the beats to focus on making jazz music with his fictional five piece, Yesterdays New Quintet.
This collection of beats showcases the way that Madlib’s early Hip Hop demos were filtered out to his friends and associates and provides an opportunity for a unique view into Madlib’s working process: these beats, often freestyled on whatever machine he had at the ready, were picked up by rappers over a period of many years. Trainspotters will find it interesting that beats later destined for the likes of Wildchild and Percee P were made some years before those albums saw release.
This album is punctuated with a series of early solo-raps by Madlib and his Quasimoto alter ego and features the cadre known collectively as CDP – those rappers who worked side by side with Madlib during the days of his Oxnard-based “Crate Diggas Palace” studios.
The Madlib Medicine Show series is a combination of Madlib’s new hip-hop productions, remixes, beat tapes, and jazz, as well as mixtapes of funk, soul, Brazilian, psych, jazz and other undefined forms of music from the Beat Konducta’s 4-ton stack of vinyl.
The deluxe 3LP set includes a limited edition 10″ vinyl with 34 minutes of vocal & instrumental material not available on the CD or digital release, and one-of-a-kind numbered, individually screened cover by Hit+Run. The artwork is by Benjamin Marra who has created a comic book for the album about the fictional 90s-era Rapper X who goes on a vengeful cop-killing rampage.