Stones Throw Records was known chiefly as an independent West Coast Hip Hop label. In October 2003, Stones Throw released the Jaylib Champion Sound project which was a collaboration between J Dilla and Madlib who shared both production and rhyming duties. The album was a sensation that not only ignited the independent Hip Hop world but garnered much attention and critical acclaim from the mainstream music press.
Less than 6 months later Stones Throw followed up with an album that would pair Madlib with one of the underground’s most prolific and beloved MCs, MF DOOM. The metal mask wearing rapper was riding a wave of success following his Special Herbs instrumental series and his 2003 albums Take Me To Your Leader & Vaudeville Villain. But an album with Madlib could potentially put him over the top and thrust him into the mainstream spotlight.
Madlib was also riding a pronounced hot streak which included his Blue Note remix album Shades Of Blue and the aforementioned Champion Sound with J Dilla leading into the Madvillainy project. The collective momentum gained from Madlib being in the creative zone, DOOM’s steady ascent and Stones Throws stretch of undeniable releases culminated in the perfect musical storm. On March 23, 2004 the MF DOOM and Madlib collaboration Madvillainy was finally unleashed on the masses.
Underground Hip-Hop heads highly anticipated the project from the “Money Folder”/“America’s Most Blunted” vinyl which featured Madlib’s alter ego Quasimoto trading bars with DOOM. The fact that both DOOM (King Geedorah & Viktor Vaughn) and Madlib (Quasimoto, Yesterday’s New Quintet & DJ Rels) recorded & released projects under different aliases added a layer of mystique to the album that couldn’t be overlooked.
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Photo: Stones Throw Records