The Odd Duo make an equally odd but fun album (audio)!
Jaylib, the one off collaboration between Madlib and J Dilla, really feels like a friendly sparing match. Track to track, the two producers trade rhymes and beats as if they trading blows. And if we’re continuing with that metaphor, both of them come out swinging; from the intro to The Red, the album starts out with its strongest material. Later on, the album becomes more unpredictable; switching from straight bangers like Raw Shit and The Exlusive (both with stellar features from Talib Kwali and Percee P) to more hazy, experimental tracks like The Heist and Strip Club. The album’s unpredictability is probably it’s strongest point, never settling on one mood or sound, but never sounding too disjointed either.
When it comes to raps though, that’s probably the album’s weakest point. Madlib and Dilla are both serviceable rappers, But Madlib’s eccentric lyrics and style definitely give him the leg up in this battle. Dilla isn’t terrible per say , but he does come off as a bit one dimensional compared to his sparring partner, spending too much time on braggadocio while Madlib spins off-beat tales of trips to the strip club, bank heists gone horribly wrong, and more. The balance to Madlib’s more interesting rhymes is that Dilla probably has the stronger beats on the album.
But all in all, the album doesn’t really seem to take itself too seriously anyways. It does feel like two geniuses (yeah, I said it) having fun, learning from each other, and in the end, having a profound influence on the each other (the influence the two they had on each other would definitely appear in later album’s, Donuts and The Beat Konducta Vol. 5 & 6 respectively). I wouldn’t pick this as the place start in Dilla’s catalog, but it’s definitely a fun release that’s well worth it if you’re fan of either producer’s music.