MED dips into his private sonic stash on new Stones Throw record
Being one of Madlib's best friends must be pretty awesome. Sure, it's probably difficult to get a hold of him, but when you finally do wrangle him, you're getting priceless access to the finest in sonic refreshments. And if you're a rapper, the perks are even better.
MED is Exhibit A. The Oxnard native has been closely associated with the so-called Loop Digga since debuting on 1999's Madlib-produced subterranean classic by Lootpack, "Soundpieces: Da Antidote." His affiliation subsequently landed him spots on Quasimoto's "The Unseen" and the lone guest appearance on Madlib's "Shades of Blue." Then there was his 2005 solo debut, "Push Comes to Shove," which found him rapping over J Dilla and Madlib beats. In layman's terms, that placement is basically like waking up on Christmas Day and receiving a Super Nintendo and a Sega Genesis.
After a six-year break between full-length records, the affable underground rapper returns with next week's "Classic." It's also released on Stones Throw, but you didn't need me to tell you that. You could have just looked at the tracklisting, with its whopping 10 tracks produced by Madlib, plus beats from Karriem Riggins, Oh No, Georgia Anne Muldrow and the Alchemist.
Keeping things in the family, there are hooks sung by Slave's Steve Arrington (who has a forthcoming record on Stones Throw) and Aloe Blacc. Even Hodgy Beats of Odd Future makes a guest appearance, mainly to fulfill a longtime dream of rapping over a Madlib beat.
On the mike, MED is no-frills. His "Classic" is a beats and blunts throwback to the late '90s era of underground rap, powered by stellar production, solid rhymes and well-selected guests. And it's probably the closest thing we'll get to a Stones Throw posse record in 2011.
That's what friends are for.
Download: MED, ft. Steve Arrington -- "Privacy" [MP3]
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: MED is back with another album. Credit: Courtesy Stones Throw