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Soundpieces: Da Antidote!

Lootpack

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Album Review

The Lootpack's debut album, Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, ushered in a string of excellent releases on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw label, and helped serve notice that the West Coast underground scene was becoming one of tremendous creative vitality. Much of the album's success is due to fantastic production by Madlib, who takes his place as one of the West Coast's most imaginative trackmasters, underground or otherwise. His style is subtly otherworldly, drawing bits and pieces from countless obscure sources; every listen reveals new, unexpected sounds layered into the mix. With 24 tracks over the course of a full CD, Soundpieces does feel a bit excessive, but most of the tracks are thankfully focused and concise, and a few clock in at around a minute or less. The exception is the multi-sectioned suite "Episodes," an impressive b-boy bouillabaisse that showcases Madlib's fragmented genius. The rapping, by Madlib and Wildchild plus a guest roster of West Coast scenesters, is consistently high-quality, and the album is studded with great singles: "Questions," "Whenimondamic," the eerie-sounding "The Anthem," and "Weededed," the latter an attack on MCs who rely on marijuana to enhance their rhymes (though not on the drug itself). Among the many guests, Dilated Peoples and Lootpack mentors Tha Alkaholiks shine brightest on "Long Awaited" and "Likwit Fusion," respectively. The Lootpack are vulnerable to the same criticism that's been leveled at Dilated Peoples, namely that in returning to hip-hop's basics, they've substantially limited their lyrical content by focusing almost entirely on battle rhymes. They're clever and well-crafted battle rhymes, to be sure, and the group's microphone technique is impressive, but in 1999, it was hard not to want them to pay attention to something besides wack MCs. That's especially true given the imagination of Madlib's subsequent projects (Quasimoto in particular), not to mention his production here. Still, that isn't enough to keep Soundpieces: Da Antidote! from being a resounding success.

Customer Reviews

mad madlib

Un album de hip hop comme en fait plus, des featurings de premier choix (dilated peoples, defari) et madlib à la prod, que demander de plus, ont est loin des production stérile du moment.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Oxnard, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Lootpack were one of several old-school revivalist crews to come out of southern California during the '90s, and recorded some of the most underappreciated music on the revitalized West Coast underground scene. The group was formed in 1990 in Oxnard, CA (a smaller beach town about a hour outside of Los Angeles), by longtime friends Madlib (producer, MC, b. Otis Jackson Jr.), Wildchild (MC, b. Jack Brown), and DJ Romes (scratching,...
Full bio
Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, Lootpack
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Contemporaries