Writing about Madlib is probably one of the most daunting aspects of this book, right next to writing about Jay Dee or actually writing the book itself. His work, reach and influence in the story I’m trying to tell is vast, and often crops up in the unlikeliest of places. And then there is what I think Egon referred to as his mythology in the All Ears docu (I’m paraphrasing badly here I can’t find the quote right now).
I just stumbled across this 2003 Elemental magazine article on the man, which includes a bunch of interesting quotes from close friends and collaborators. It popped up during research on beat tapes – I’ll be publishing a short history of beat tapes shortly over at FACT magazine, a piece that has now essentially become the skeleton for the beat tapes part of the book’s narrative. Still not quite sure if it will end up a separate chapter or be weaved into the greater narrative, but I’m leaning towards the latter as the idea is for the book to have a chronological flow.
Anyways some of the quotes in this piece refer to Madlib’s beat tapes, and make for some interesting reading. It also includes a mention of the Beat Herders, which was apparently Madlib and Kan Kick collaborating back in the days. If the quote and my search is correct, the Epitome ‘Earthquake’ track that Stones Throw put out early on is the production the quote refers to.
“An underground Madlib beat CD, that’s what I like, shit you ain’t heard yet, those are my favorite tracks. Stuff ain’t nobody heard, that’s my favorite shit.” – Kankick