Madlib’s fantastic tribute to his producer partner in crime (audio)
Despite my promise to get into some Dilla tracks/albums this week, I forgot there was one more Dilla tribute that needs to be recognized. And surprisingly, it’s one of the highest profile but least talked about tributes of all: Madlib’s Beat Konducta Vol. 5 – 6 that came out all the way back in 2009. Which is actually quite sad because not only is this a subtle but excellent tribute to the producer’s fallen friend, but it’s actually one of the most sentimental as well.
Unlike a lot people close to Dilla (Dilla and Madlib were both mutual admirers of each other’s work), Madlib stayed relatively quiet on the sad passing of the hip-hop producer in 2006, and seemingly used this project as is why to show how he felt. And given that this album is 42 tracks long, over an hour, and all over the place, apparently he was feeling all kinds of emotions. In short, it’s sort of like Madlib’s Donuts; packed with so many references and subtle messaging that you could probably go over it with a fine-toothed comb and still not come up with everything that Madlib put in here.
Yet for how random it can be, it feels like a singular vision; with each and every song flowing smoothly into the next. And thankfully it’s not completely mired in depression; it has plenty of playful, even sometimes hilarious moments on the record. But what is truly remarkable about this this record is how Madlib replicated Dilla’s style while still remaining a distinctively Madlib production. I would say this album actually gets better the more familiar you are with Dilla’s work as some of the more obscure references become clearer, and how close Madlib is imitating Dilla’s style as a show of respect. It’s also a solid beat tape in it’s own right, though it’s not quite as memorable moment to moment as Donuts is. But this album works best as an album listened from front to back for the the full effect, so that kind of makes up for that fact.
Unfortunately, despite checking a few times on YouTube, I was unable to find a stream of the entire album and listening to only one or two tracks from the album don’t really give you the full experience and how absolutely fantastic this album is. It doesn’t stand out the way that Donuts does, but it’s definitely a solid album and a great companion piece for those who are looking for more music in the vein of the Dilla’s beat tape masterpiece.
With that, I’m gonna close out my Dilla Tributes and starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting Dilla tracks and albums for the rest of the week.
By the way, if anyone finds a stream of this album, do let me know.