Madlib’s latest concoction, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, contains material about girls, drugs and alcohol, which might make it seem like the quintessential, clichéd rap album. But it is far from that. Add to that the sped-up vocals of his spaced-out alter ego, Quasimoto, and you have an LP that is a bit abstract for the regular hip-hop listener. Further Adventures is a timeless testament to his ingenuity yet is not distinct from his other work; fortunately, an average release for Madlib is by no means average by regular standards at all.
Madlib’s creative imagination takes Quasimoto on all types of humorous and crazy episodes. On “Bus Ride,” Quas encounters a grungy man named Ol’ Willie who is looking for “a little Christian kindness” (read: some change). Later on, Quas teams up with partner-in-crime MF Doom and engages in Madvillany-esque activities while boasting to “get more ass than toilet paper.” And, of course, dispersed throughout these adventures is Quas’s signature “Greenery” and shrooms.
Lord Quas’s wacky and bewildering adventures fit seamlessly with Madlib’s loose and meandering production. “Fatbacks” and “Maingirl” feature colorful samples of South Asian sounds, while a mix of reggae and dancehall is on display in “Don’t Blink.” Then there are tracks like “Hydrant Games” and “Life Is” that serve no purpose, really, except maybe as funky background music for weed smoking.
Although Further Adventures contains quality production, Madlib has made better beats before. But the eclecticism of Further Adventures creates a stimulating musical collage and the kind of psychedelic imagery that is reminiscent of rock legend Jimi Hendrix — and given Madlib’s contributions to music in the past few years, this is not too audacious of a comparison. In many ways, one might say that he is picking up where hip-hop pioneers Prince Paul and Q-Tip left off with Native Tongue in the early-to-mid ’90s, especially given Madlib’s inclination for sampling soul and jazz into his beats.
Despite some inaccessibility in its oddball presentation and sound, it is extremely difficult to turn down 27 tracks of pure Madlib; even so, he would be best served to turn his strange abstractions into head-nodding, innovative music in the future. Still, Further Adventures is more proof of his ascendancy from an ordinary, crate-digging sampler to a hip-hop composer and pioneer.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars