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WLIB AM - King of the Wigflip

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Album Review

For reasons unknown, Rapster decided to say farewell to their innovative Beat Generation series, but they certainly went out in style — the last one to leave was none other than the multifarious Madlib, the Beat Konducta. A 24-track strong mix album, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip turns out the lights with nothing but Madlib productions (most of them previously unheard) and a range of friends and family providing the frequent vocal features. Similar to his Beat Konducta releases, this joint is all AM — unlicensed, street-corner, low-power, community radio, with all the static and interference listeners have come to expect from the premier soundtracker of an alternate reality of radio programming. (Foes of lo-fi have nothing to fear, though — as always, the beats are hard and the crackles are crystal clear.) Madlib's productions reach clear across the dial, with snatches of reggae and faux-Chinese music among the '80s urban and '70s soul on display. The beats are excellent as well, loping and stuttering and falling over each other in Madlib's best Drunken Master style. Although there are plenty of instrumentals, at least three-quarters of WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip is given over to vocal features. The rappers are gritty and street-level, with a parade of usual culprits: Guilty Simpson, J-Rocc, Poke, MED, Oh No, and Frank-n-Dank. If there's a sign of weakness on this mix, it's here; the rhymes are by no means revolutionary, and the amount of naked braggadocio on display can get a little wearing (especially compared to the high camp of Madlib's Quasimoto and Lootpack work). Still, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip is all about the productions, and Madlib's are the best around.


Born: 24 October 1973 in Oxnard, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Describing himself as "a DJ first, producer second, and MC last," Madlib is one of the many aliases of Otis Jackson, Jr., who has become one of the most celebrated, prolific, and eclectic artists in hip-hop since emerging on the scene in the early '90s. Also known as Beat Konducta, Quasimoto, Malik Flavors, DJ Lord Such, and the Loopdiggaz, among his dozens of handles, the unique sound and feel of Madlib's work (created without computers, using old-school recording and sampling gear) has made him...
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WLIB AM - King of the Wigflip, Madlib
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