Welcome To The ‘Medicine Show’: Madlib At Mighty


He’s based down in blue-collar Oxnard, draws his handle from the word game and cops to the acronym Mind Altering Demented Lessons in Beats, but Madlib also has his share of connects to the Bay. The man (born Otis Jackson Jr.) is a staple on Stones Throw Records, which was founded in the Peninsula under the careful ministrations of the once-San Mateo-rooted Peanut Butter Wolf. The label eventually up and moved down south, but its most prolific producer Madlib is up for a DJ set Friday, Jan. 29, at Mighty.

Madlib’s “Take It Back”

You might also know the SoCal musicmaker for his way with slicing, dicing, and reconfiguring a jazz trumpet part, heard most notably on 2003’s Shades of Blue (Blue Note) -- a recording that freshened up hip-hop’s off-and-on union with bop in a way not seen since the heyday of acid-jazz.

Madvillain’s “Rhinestone Cowboy”

Then there’s Madlib’s collabos with talents like the late producer J Dilla. That unholy merger, filed under the moniker Jaylib, produced the legendary, much bootlegged Champion Sound (Stones Throw, 2003). And that’s not to mention Madlib’s fruitful work with MF Doom on their Madvillain project: the two one-of-a-kind Left Coast hip-hop heads created the brilliant, universally praised Madvillainy (Stones Throw, 2004). That still-fresh-sounding disc was later followed by Madvillainy 2: The Box (Stones Throw, 2008), which treated fans to a T-shirt, comic book, and the long-coming Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix.

Madvillain’s “All Caps”

But that’s not the end of the story for the producer who’s clearly following his own distinct vision: this week saw the release of Madlib Medicine Show No. 1: Before the Verdict (Stones Throw). The double-LP sports unique, numbered hand-silkscreened covers -- just to keep things special. And there’s also the new Madlib-produced In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw) for Strong Arm Steady, who rapped on Madlib and Talib Kweli’s Liberation full-length. The folks at Stones Throw call it an all-star hip-hop jam session of sorts, featuring Planet Asia and Little Brother’s Phonte, among others. Sounds like the “Best of Times,” indeed. 

Madlib performs Friday, Jan. 29, at Mighty, 119 Utah St., SF. 10 p.m. doors, call club for price. DJ Shortkut, Carey Kopp, and DJ RasCue also appear. (415) 626-7001.

Madlib and Lootpack’s “Crate Diggin’”

Excerpts from Madlib’s Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4: Beat Konducta in India

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