BY Noel DixPublished Jan 1, 2006

This collaboration between MF Doom and Madlib suffered from an early leak on the internet as well as the mediocre Jaylib release — another pairing that was also subjected to extreme amounts of hype. Two of hip-hop’s most talked-about figures were left in a spot of high expectations that not many would be able to make good on, but Doom and Madlib have shown what happens when you fire on all cylinders and created one of the best hip-hop records in recent years. The reason why Madvillainy is a near-masterpiece has much to do with the fact that you can just feel the energy and similarities in the pair’s production and delivery covering the tracks from start to finish. Though Madlib has produced the entire record, you can hear traces of Doom all over the beats, especially when it comes to comic book capers like "Rainbows” as the metal-faced MC croons over campy horns reminiscent of the Batman television series or "Operation Lifesaver,” which sounds like a King Geedorah outtake. Still, the beats are conducted by the mighty Madlib, a producer that is rapidly maturing with breathtaking results that creates so many gorgeous moments like his use of accordions, eerie string sections and an extreme use of obscure dialogue. Madvillain’s alter-egos show their face on numerous tracks as Quasimoto and Viktor Vaughn add to the schizophrenic mix, with Lord Quas lending his helium-induced voice to the herb anthem "America’s Most Blunted” — still the album’s most banging cut even after an early b-side release. If you’re not feeling Doom’s delivery as he pens phrases like, "Goony goo goo, loony cuckoo” then you might not embrace Madvillainy with such open arms, but he is the perfect MC to provide the rhymes for the project as his calm delivery fits so snug between the dusty grooves. Madvillain is simply the result of collaborations gone so right, where the participants are travelling in the exact same direction to create an absolute hip-hop stunner.
(Stones Throw)

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