Madvillain

Madvillainy (Stones Throw Records)

Listening to the collaborative efforts of MC/producers MF Doom (formerly Zevlove X of KMD) and Madlib is like watching Alien and Predator go head to head, then turn and come after you. The essence of a gritty, dark club in a damp and moldy basement resonates throughout; the disc's tone is set by culling sound bites from radio serials from the '50s and '60s. That ominous vibe is carried out in songs like "Rainbows," "Shadows of Tomorrow" and "All Caps," which all have that super-villain, comic-book feel; initially, it may leave listeners a bit befuddled.

But as weird as some tracks may be, Madlib and Doom definitely bring the funk. "Money Folder," "Figaro" and "Hardcore Hustle," featuring Wildchild, will instantly have heads bobbin'. The remainder of the album sounds like a competition between Doom and Lib to see who can unearth the most obscure samples and kick the most abstract rhymes. In the end, Madvillainy is a 22-track trek through a black-and-white sci-fi movie -- one where you're rooting for the bad guy. And this time, it's safe to say, these villains come out on top.

 
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