Madlib during March 2014
|Otis Jackson, Jr.|
|Quasimoto, Yesterdays New Quintet, DJ Rels, Beat Konducta, The Loop Digga|
|Born||October 24, 1973|
Oxnard, California, United States
|Website||Madlib at stonesthrow.com|
Otis Jackson Jr. (born October 24, 1973), known professionally as Madlib, is an American DJ, music producer, multi-instrumentalist, and rapper. He is one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed hip hop producers of the 2000s and has collaborated with different hip hop artists, under a variety of pseudonyms, including with MF DOOM (as Madvillain), as well as J Dilla (as Jaylib). Madlib has described himself as a "DJ first, producer second, and MC last," and he has done several projects as a DJ, mixer, or remixer.
Madlib was born in Oxnard, California to musician parents Otis Jackson, Sr. and Dora Sinesca Jackson. He sampled his first song at 11 years old, a song that he got from his father's collection. His younger brother is the producer and rapper Michael 'Oh No' Jackson. His uncle is the jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis. He was raised in Oxnard, where he began his music career.
In the early 1990s, Madlib formed a loose-knit collective composed of rappers that worked with Madlib in his Oxnard-based "Crate Diggas Palace" studio. This collective was composed primarily of his friends, and became known as CDP. Madlib's first commercially released music was production for the rap group Tha Alkaholiks in 1993. He went on to record music of his own with the group Lootpack. Their 12-inch EP "Ill Psyche Move," was released by Madlib's father in 1995 on a label also called Crate Diggas Palace. This record caught the attention of Peanut Butter Wolf, founder of the Stones Throw Records label, who signed the group in 1998.
The Lootpack's 1999 debut album Soundpieces: Da Antidote ushered in a string of releases on Stones Throw centering on Madlib's production work which would continue for a decade. His first solo work, under the guise of Quasimoto, The Unseen, came in 2000. The album was met with critical acclaim, named by Spin Magazine as one of the top 20 albums of the year.
In 2001, Madlib moved away from hip-hop music and began a series of releases from Yesterdays New Quintet, a Jazz-based, hip-hop and electronic-influenced quintet made up of alter egos or fictional musicians played by Madlib. Over the next several years, through several record releases on Stones Throw and other labels, the growing number of pseudonyms and fictional players came to be known as Yesterdays Universe. Madlib was later invited to remix tracks from the Blue Note Records archive in 2003, which he released as Shades of Blue. In addition to the remixes, the album contained newly recorded interpretations of Blue Note originals, many of which were credited to members of Yesterdays New Quintet. Beginning with the 2007 album The Funky Side of Life by Yesterdays New Quintet spinoff group Sound Directions, the Yesterdays Universe also began incorporating additional session musicians who were not pseudonyms of Madlib.
Returning to hip-hop music in 2003, Madlib announced two collaborative projects. Working with hip hop producer J Dilla, the duo known as Jaylib released Champion Sound. The other was Madlib's collaboration with rapper MF Doom, known together as Madvillain. Their 2004 Madvillainy album was highly anticipated and well-received, topping many critics' year-end lists.
The 2005 Quasimoto album, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas was accepted well and continued the Quasimoto tradition of using vocal samples from Melvin Van Peebles, who is credited on the album liner notes as a collaborator.
Throughout the rest of the decade Madlib continued to release jazz material simultaneously with his hip hop work: Perseverance with Percee P, Liberation with Talib Kweli, Sujinho with Ivan Conti of Azymuth, his own instrumental hip-hop series "Beat Konducta", "In Search of Stoney Jackson" with Strong Arm Steady, "OJ Simpson" with Guilty Simpson, and production work for several artists such as Erykah Badu and De La Soul.
In 2010, Madlib announced his own imprint called Madlib Invazion, formed to release a music series called Madlib Medicine Show. The series would ultimately take over two years to complete, culminating with 13 album releases and several vinyl-only EPs, spanning hip-hop, jazz, remixes, and multi-genre DJ mix tapes. The label has continued to release records outside of the original series.
In 2011, Madlib composed the film score for the A Tribe Called Quest documentary film Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib announced plans for a collaboration album late in 2011 with the release of an EP titled Thuggin. A second EP titled Shame followed on June 22, 2012. A third EP titled Deeper was released on September 24, 2013. The duo's collaboration album Piñata was later released to critical acclaim on March 18, 2014.
In a 2010 interview with LA Weekly, Madlib stated that Kanye West put five of his beats on hold for the album he was working on at the time. While none of the beats were used, Madlib did take part in the recording sessions for the album, which evolved from Good Ass Job to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He was also rumored to be a part of West's collaboration album with Jay-Z entitled Watch the Throne but ultimately was not. West was interviewed as part of the 2014 Stones Throw documentary film Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton, in which he opens up about working with Madlib and wanting more of his beats for future projects.
On January 18, 2016, West released the Madlib-produced "No More Parties in L.A." featuring Kendrick Lamar on SoundCloud as part of his GOOD Fridays series. According to reports, the track originated from the recording sessions for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010. West also recited a few lines from the track in the Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton interview. "No More Parties in L.A." appears on his seventh album, which underwent several name changes; So Help Me God, SWISH, Waves and finally The Life of Pablo, released on February 12, 2016. West also hinted at the possibility of future collaborations with Madlib via Twitter thanking him for sending over six beat CDs.
During an interview on Chrome Children, Madlib stated that his most significant musical influences include Miles Davis, Sun Ra and David Axelrod. Some of his rap influences are Large Professor, Marley Marl, Paul C, DJ Pooh and Dr. Dre.