Artist: QuasimotoTitle: The Further Adventures of Lord QuasRating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Brolin Winning
It’s no secret that Madlib is one of the most original and prolific artists out today. Not just in the rap game, but in music period, he just keeps on coming with the gems. From his early days working with Tha Alkaholiks, through the Lootpack era, and as the driving sonic force behind Stones Throw, to his more recent escapades invading Blue Note and connecting with DOOM for the Madvillain project, he continues to live up to his moniker, the kid is bad. Despite a ridiculously thorough discography that rivals old-school jazz cats, his freshness just never seems to fade. If anything, he’s only getting better. On The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (Stones Throw), he reunites with partner in rhyme/alter-ego Quasimoto, the pitch-shifted, perpetually baked lady-killer from the Lost Gates, who freaked out (in a good way) listeners everywhere with 2000’s The Unseen LP. Heads have been waiting for a new Quas full-length for nearly five years, and that day has finally arrived.
What we get is a seriously blunted, 27-track journey teaming with schizophrenic beat changes, dusty 303 loop work, random film/TV soundbites, and tag team rhymes from ‘Lib and the Lord. Throughout the journey, the duo wax poetic on the usual themes, and like Madvillainy, the record flows seamlessly from song to song, helped along by the short running time on most of the tunes (only six joints clock in at over three minutes). “Greenery” explores their well-known love affair with the chronic over a plodding electro thump that sounds straight out of ColecoVision, while “Maingirl” breaks down all the women in their lives, set to backwards drums, Middle Eastern string sweeps, and Bollywood vocals. Frantic wah-wah guitars and clacking percussion sets the stage for the run-from-the-cops jam “Raw Deal,” while “Seasons Change” is all mid-tempo mellowness.
Guest appearances are limited here, the Metal Faced homie does his thing on “Closer,” and M.E.D. shines on “The Exclusive,” bringing some real talk to the table atop dramatic horn swells and harpsichord action. Other highlights include “Rappcats Pt. 3,” which is basically an extended hip-hop history lesson (and also sports a very dope video), and the Showbiz & A.G.-inspired anthem “Fatbacks.”
Like much of Madlib’s work, trying to describe his music on paper doesnt really do it justice. To be sure, anything involving Quas is going to be a more bugged-out affair than some people are used to. First-timers may be put off by the helium steez, and anyone looking for traditional rap formatting – 16 bars and a chorus, R&B hooks, etc. surely won’t find that here. However, for fans of adventurous, free wheeling, THC-enriched hip-hop, this is about as good as it gets. Hands down, one of the best albums of the year, and one of the most unique rap records to ever hit this planet.