Originally released March 23, 2004
Reissued November 8, 2011
from Stones Throw
The crown jewel in Stones Throw's war chest, Madvillainy, with its big tracklist and tiny songs, esoteric samples, animated beats, lyrics, and complete disregard for anything remotely resembling normalcy, is the de fecto underground rap album. By the renegade logic of America's Most Blunted, a meat grinder can act as a metronome, a clown's alter-ego can form a love triangle with himself. Madvillainy is the accordions whine through the speakers at the Bistro Bed and Breakfast Bar and Grill. It's visions of Barry White on a starry evening, of Dick Dastardly and Muttley drinking Heinekens in mad traffic. It's Saturday morning cartoons rolling Phillies out front the Stop-N-Go. The culmination of parallel underground movements neatly compartmentalized in twenty-two stylized panels. Nothing has sounded like it before, or since — not that many have been brazen enough to even try. With respect to their legendary solo works, neither Madlib or MF DOOM (RIP) have come close to topping it. The best superhero movie of our lifetime was a rap album. It makes no sense, and it's perfect.