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The Further Adventures of Lord Quas

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Album Review

His name is already attached to three of underground rap's seminal releases (Lootpack's Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, Madvillain's Madvillainy, and the first Quasimoto LP, The Unseen), so it can't come as a surprise that Madlib's return of Lord Quas takes its place right alongside them. When he debuted in 2000, Quasimoto immediately became one of hip-hop's most bizarre characters, a helium-voiced, barely-teenage-sounding rapper capable of drawling the dozens like a Cosby Kid gone to seed or spouting more insane gibberish than a crackhead casualty. Helpfully, his obtuse material appeared over the most innovative new production style in rap — crackly, bouncing productions with samples reflecting his obsessions with jazz-funk maestros like Stanley Cowell and Grant Green. While on The Unseen, he moved through the streets like a ghost, Further Adventures finds him a streetwise inhabitant of his Lost Gates neighborhood, with nearly every possible permutation of low-intensity inner-city conflict covered on tracks like "Bullyshit" (on bullies), "Greenery" (weed), and "Bus Ride" (panhandlers). It's a parody of urban life — Madlib grew up in Oxnard, after all — that's half-Fat Albert and half-Sweet Sweetback (the latter no accident, with the inclusion of vintage Melvin Van Peebles film dialogue on eight tracks, much of it ingeniously interwoven with Quasimoto's new performances). Not that Further Adventures could be described as linear — these 26 tracks actually conceal close to 50 individual skits, grooves, sci-fi dialogue, educational records, and pot fantasies — but Madlib has formed a tighter frame around his productions than ever before. The sound, what's recognizable of it, expands on Madlib's base of soul and jazz-funk, adding snatches of '80s urban and '70s smooth soul, the perfect bed for these tales. For the most part, Quas doesn't allow himself any nostalgia, but when he does, it becomes almost a little poignant, as on "Rappcats, Pt. 3" (where he shouts out to all his favorite old-school rappers) or the point on "Bartender Say" when the wisdom yields this little nugget: "What's the prettiest thing you ever seen?/ The sun pushing down, making things grow/The silence in the dawn when a car goes past."


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Quasimoto is the utterly bizarre alter ego of production wizard/MC Madlib (born Otis Jackson, Jr.), one of the leading underground producers on the West Coast hip-hop scene. Madlib got his start with the Oxnard, California-based Lootpack, which recorded an acclaimed album, Soundpieces: Da Antidote, for Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw label in 1999. At Peanut Butter Wolf's urging, the initially reluctant Madlib subsequently began to concentrate on his Quasimoto side project, with which he'd been...
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The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, Quasimoto
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