Madlib: Medicine Show No. 3: Beat Konducta In Africa

Madlib: Medicine Show No. 3: Beat Konducta In Africa
For over a decade, Madlib has wowed hip hop audiences with his odd approach to beat making. Working with such big name artists as J Dilla, MF Doom, and Talib Kweli has added to his lore. His on-going Beat Konducta series is among the most experimental beat making in hip hop and on its latest installment, Madlib Medicine Show No. 3: Beat Konducta In Africa, Madlib produces 37 instrumental tracks inspired by Africa records of the early 1970s.
Its a bit of a surprise that this album is not being released by Strut Records with their recent obsession with African music, but Thanks to Strut records compilations I am more well versed in African music of the 70s than most Americans. Madlib takes obscure, independent vinyl from afro-beat, funk, psych-rock, garage-rock, and soul and tries to fashion beats out of them. In addition he adds dialogue from TV shows and movies to keep an imaginary story line running throughout the entire album.
The album has an undertone of the perception of Africa verses what Africa actually is. A reoccurring vocal clip is “this is Africa”. The first time it is played it is followed by monkey sounds, showing the close-minded view of third world countries that many ignorant people have. As the album develops the “this is Africa” clip is played followed by Madlib’s beats formed from obviously talented and well-versed African musicians. The vocal clips Madlib chooses become more and more educational as the album goes on as well. There are facts about country sizes, settlements, and Marcus Garvey among others.
As with any Madlib release, my major complaint is the lack of transitions. Beats are seemingly just getting going then cut out and something new comes on. Madlib needs to let some of his beats breath more. The style is perfect for the ADD culture we live in today, but I would enjoy being able to digest the beats a little more. Instead Madlib relies on quantity over quality. Most of the album’s 37 tracks are under two minutes. I would prefer a 17 track album with the tracks doubled in length.
Despite that complaint, I think Madlib has created another great album. The album really gives you a feel for African music with Madlib’s personalized spin on it. If you, like me, have been enjoying the Strut African music compilations, this is like taking them to a new level.
Rating: 8.1/10
MP3: Madlib “Kanika”
Buy: iTunes, Insound!