Madlib, "Madlib Medicine Show No. 3: Beat Konducta in Africa"

Album Review

Veteran rapper Madlib's newest album, "Madlib Medicine Show No. 3: Beat Konducta in Africa," is the artist's latest instrumental opus in a series of 12 albums dubbed "The Madlib Medicine Show." In this episode, Madlib restricts himself to sampling African vinyl sounds from the early '70s-and in compliance with orthodox hip-hop doctrine, each sample is buried in sacred obscurity. But the diversity of "Beat Konducta in Africa" borders on overwhelming, with about 78 minutes of African funk, rock, soul and Afrobeat. On "Red, Black and Green Showcase," injections of half-second hip-hop vocals play over a regal, echoing horn loop. "Jungle Sounds Pt. 2" makes use of an electric guitar, while "African Map Watch" is more disco-flavored. And "Blackfire" begins with an interlude championing Nigerian musicians for prohibiting "the musical masturbation of the Western World" from curtailing their creativity. Acting as a collage of African sounds and rhythms that avoids coherence, the album's greatest strength lies in its authenticity.


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