UPDATE: Watch the full RBMA interview with Madlib below:
Prolific and elusive don’t even begin to describe the enigmatic influence of Madlib. The Oxnard, CA native has crafted a dusty sample-based sound that set a new precedent for the underground in the early 90s and one that countless producers have tried to emulate since. He’s the jazz/funk-obsessed Beat Konducta, a cornerstone of famed indie label Stones Throw Records, the helium-voiced brick-slinger Quasimoto, a continually budding multi-instrumentalist, and he’s been run out of fucks to give as to whether or not you’re okay with that.
Madlib sat down with Jeff Mao and Red Bull Music Academy in New York last night for a rare interview where he let some serious gems, scoops, and fun facts drop. Here’s 14 of our favorites.
16. Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, Egon, & Jeff Jank lived together
In the early days of Stones Throw, the beat maker, the figureheads, and the artist all shared an apartment together.
15. Oh No’s real name is Michael Jackson
Madlib’s brother Oh No is a revered producer in his own right, and his government name is Michael Jackson. Seriously, go look it up.
14. Madlib’s kids love his Jaylib/Quasimoto songs
He’s been a family man for a minute now, but while he’s working, his kids love to vibe out to Champion Sound and Quasimoto tracks.
13. El Taco De Mexico is his favorite spot to eat in Oxnard, CA
Madlib hasn’t been back to Oxnard in some time, but when he does, catch him eating here on Saviers Road.
12. He never intended to release his Quasimoto music
The only reason we know and love Lord Quas today is because Peanut Butter Wolf saw money in the concept. Lib doesn’t like the sound of his rapping voice (“I sound like Barry White”), so he pitched it up, and like that, Quas was born.
11. Madlib & Freddie Gibbs have another project dropping called Bandana
The sequel to their hugely successful Piñata from two years ago has been done for some time and will drop whenever Madlib’s ready.
10. Kanye West & Freddie Gibbs fought over beat tapes
Kanye allegedly wanted a grip of Madlib beats to himself (maybe for TLOP?), but Gibbs got to them faster. One of those became the remix “Cocaine Parties In LA,” but the others will show themselves soon enough.
9. He created the beat for “No More Parties In LA” on an iPad
June Morrison, Ghostface Killah, and NBA Jams sound effects for the win. The Loop Digga strikes again!
8. Madlib made himself a Prince tribute beat tape
Like every producer worth their salt since The Purple One passed, Madlib has his own tribute beat tape that the world will most likely never hear.
7. When he samples records, he uses the whole thing
When sampling a record, Madlib isn’t stingy. He’ll make an entire album out of a record he samples.
6. He’s sitting on 20 new MF Doom tracks
Fans have been clamoring for the followup to the Doom/Madlib collab Madvillainy, and Madlib says he’s sitting on an album’s worth of material from the equally elusive MC. It’s up in the air whether or not we’ll hear any of it, though.
5. He’s got music coming with Young RJ of Slum Village, Pete Rock, and Gaslamp Killer
Does this man ever stop working?
4. Madlib doesn’t want to rap anymore
Hold off on those Quas expectations because Madlib says he’s done rapping. “We don’t got nothin’ to say no more,” he said when asked about new Quas music. “Fuck Quas. He stole my last girl.”
3. One of his studios is in a Freemason castle
A fan query confirmed that he produces some beats from a rented-out Freemason castle. “Half my shit’s in there,” he confirmed.
2. His favorite store in LA was Aaron’s Record Shop
Lib is skeptical of the record store scene in LA these days, but he liked Aaron’s Record Shop before it closed (“I was friendly with the staff and they gave me discounts”) and still frequents Rockaway Records to this day.
1. More Beat Konducta albums are coming
Expect Beat Konducta albums themed around Russian and industrial music in the near future.