Madlib: King Of The Wigflips (Album Review)

The anticipation of new Madlib releases reaches far beyond the borders of Hip-Hop. With the California native being one of the genre’s most innovative and prolific producers; the eagerness for new material by his fans seems just to be natural.

WLIB AM: King Of The Wigflip (BBE) introduces Madlib’s own fictional radio station, a concept that allows an impressive list of guest vocalists to showcase their unique talents. To name a few: Defari, Kariem Higgins, Talib Kweli, Frank ‘n Dank, even Prince Po and Madlib himself are all being heard from the vocal booth.

The album starts off with the instrumental “The New Resident”. The atmospheric intro would not be out of place scoring of any epic Hollywood battle scene. The cinema feel returns a couple of times throughout the album, but for the most part it is the warm, vinyl-hiss laden sound with which WLIB AM infects the airwaves.

While WLIB AM stays in that retro, AM-sound mode from beginning to end, the musical palette of tracks covers a substantial part of the artistic spectrum in which Madlib has found himself over the span of his career. From the minimalism of “Drinks Up!”, through the groovy “Gamble On Ya Boy”, all the way to the neo-soul of “Yo Yo Affair Pt. 1 & 2”. Madlib just seems to be capable of anything he sets his mind to.

This last installment of BBE’s Beat Generation is a worthy farewell to a great series that once started with Madlib’s former partner in crime, J-Dilla. Previous Madlib releases alike, WLIB AM: King Of The Wigflip will take some time to get into. Madlib’s unpredictable way of sequencing his dense sample re-arrangements might require multiple listening sessions to be appreciated in full. Yet, the dedicated listener will be rewarded.

Madlib Featuring Talib Kweli

"What It Do"