With Freddie Gibbs' Piñata dropping today, Madlib has added to his roster of collaborative albums with MCs. Here are six previous ones, ranked from worst to best.
With his dusty, warped, sample-heavy sound almost instantly recognizable at this point, Madlib has carved out quite a niche for himself in the underground hip-hop world. First emerging in the '90s with his group Lootpack, he's gone on to rap under the name Quasimoto, play jazz as Yesterday's New Quintet, release his Medicine Show series of concept-driven beat tapes, and of course, collaborate with a wide array of rappers.
Freddie Gibbs' Piñata (out today) boasts production entirely from Madlib, making the next in a long line of his full-length collaborations with MCs. These type of album-length pairings are uncommon in hip-hop, even more so today, with label executives usually trying to grab a varied roster of producers to reach a wider audience. This approach can end up with amazing results (Tha Carter III had 19 separate producers), but is also prone to producing bloated releases that lack cohesion (Mastermind, anyone?). With one artist behind the boards at all times, you get an album that's less of a solo project by a rapper and more of a collaboration, and that's exactly what Madlib's come to master.
Find out which of these collaborative albums are the best by clicking ahead to the list. To see where Piñata stacks up against the others, check back tomorrow for our review.