Anyone who is familiar with California-based MC/producer Madlib knows that he's not your everyday hip-hop artist.

Anyone who is familiar with California-based MC/producer Madlib knows that he's not your everyday hip-hop artist. His projects are often quirky, musically diverse and apart from anything else in its genre. For his latest set, Madlib was given full access to the vaults at famed jazz label Blue Note. The result is a mellow, hypnotic and mostly instrumental affair. Madlib ably walks the fine line between hip-hop and jazz; as a result, he shows how similar the two genres truly are. Tracks like "Distant Land," "Stepping Into Tomorrow" and "Slim's Return" are just a few of the highlights on this stellar set. Part history lesson, part jam session, this disc is a must-have for any true hip-hop or jazz fan.—RH