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For the word game, see Mad Libs.
Madlib during March 2014
Background information
Birth name Otis Jackson, Jr.
Also known as Quasimoto, Yesterdays New Quintet, DJ Rels, Beat Konducta, The Loop Digga
Born (1973-10-24) October 24, 1973 (age 42)
Origin Oxnard, California, United States
Genres Hip hop, jazz rap, instrumental hip hop, soul, funk, electronic
Occupation(s) Musician, record producer, rapper, DJ
Instruments Turntables, keyboards, drums, vocals, sampler, bass guitar, vibraphone, percussion, guitar
Years active 1993–present
Labels Stones Throw, Madlib Invazion, Blue Note
Associated acts Madvillain, Jaylib, Lootpack, Quasimoto, Freddie Gibbs, MadGibbs, Strong Arm Steady, Guilty Simpson, Muno Brar$, Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc, MF Doom, J Dilla, Talib Kweli, M.E.D., De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Oh No, Blu, Mos Def, Hemlock Ernst, Kanye West
Website Madlib at

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 MF Doom (as Madvillain), as well as the late J Dilla (as Jaylib). Madlib has described himself as a "DJ first, producer second, and MC last,"[1][2] and he has done several projects as a DJ, mixer, or remixer.

Early life[edit]

Madlib was born in Oxnard, California to musician parents Otis Jackson, Sr. and Dora Sinesca Jackson.[3] His younger brother is the producer and rapper Michael 'Oh No' Jackson.[4] His uncle is the jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis. He was raised in Oxnard, where he began his music career.

Music career[edit]

1993–1998: Early career[edit]

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.[5] 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.

Madlib at Stones Throw Records special, December 4, 2005

1999–2009: Stones Throw, Quasimoto, Yesterdays New Quintet, Mind Fusion and Beat Konducta[edit]

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.[6]

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.[7] 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 the late 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.[8]

The 2005 Quasimoto album, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas was accepted well[9] 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.

Madlip and J Rocc in Cologne/Germany 2003

2010–present: Madlib Invazion, Madlib Medicine Show, projects with Freddie Gibbs, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West[edit]

In 2010, Madlib announced his own imprint called Madlib Invazion, formed to release a music series called Madlib Medicine Show.[10] 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.

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.

Madlib produced "Cadillacs" with Snoop Dogg for his mixtape That's My Work Volume 3, released on February 27, 2014.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] He was also rumored to be a part of West's collaboration album with Jay-Z entitled Watch the Throne but ultimately was not.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] According to reports, the track originated from the recording sessions for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010.[17] West also recited a few lines from the track in the Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton interview.[15] "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.[18]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Some of his rap influences are Large Professor, Marley Marl, Paul C, DJ Pooh and Dr. Dre.

Partial discography[edit]

Main article: Madlib discography
Solo albums
Collaborative albums


  1. ^ Aziri (2002).
  2. ^ Mugshot Magazine, Vol 2, Issue 3, 2003
  3. ^ Taylor, Ken. "Madlib Biography". Musician Biographies. Net Industries. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  4. ^ Oh No Talks About His Albums, Having Madlib as an Older Brother, Working with Alchemist & MF Doom – XXL. (June 27, 2012). Retrieved on 2014-05-12.
  5. ^ "History of the Loop Digga". Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  6. ^ "Spin Magazine: Year End Lists". Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Yesterdays New Quintet". Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  8. ^ "Madvillain: Madvillainy (2004): Reviews". December 15, 2009. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  9. ^ "Quasimoto: The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (2005): Reviews". Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  10. ^ "Madlib Medicine Show". Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  11. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (27 February 2014). "Snoop Dogg Is Steady Cruising In "Cadillacs," with Madlib Riding Shotgun". Complex. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Weiss, Jeff (24 June 2010). "The Madlib Mystique". LA Weekly. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  13. ^ Harling, Danielle (25 June 2010). "Madlib Says Kanye West Requested Beats For "Good Ass Job"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Jacobs, A. (25 September 2010). "Pete Rock and Q-Tip Production Confirmed On Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch The Throne"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Newman, Jason (28 May 2014). "Kanye West Talks Dilla, Creating 'Wrong Music' in Stones Throw Doc". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Kanye West – "No More Parties in L.A." feat. Kendrick Lamar, prod. by Madlib". Stones Throw Records. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (8 January 2016). "Kanye West Recorded "No More Parties in LA" With Madlib During the 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' Sessions". Complex. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  18. ^ Leight, Elias (22 January 2016). "Kanye West Hints At More Madlib Collaborations". The Fader. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 


External links[edit]