“He’s King of The Beats to Me”: Madlib Reflects on His Relationship with J Dilla

In a new interview, Madlib opens up about his first encounters with J Dilla and MF DOOM, as well as what’s holding up his album with Black Star.

Madlib is the next guest on Talib Kweli‘s The People’s Party podcast.

Ahead of the full episode’s release on Monday, a pair of clips from the interview tease a candid (and rare) chat with The Beat Konducta. In one segment, Kweli and the producer discuss their long-awaited sequel to Black Star‘s 1998 debut album. After Kweli reveals yasiin bey insisted on the producer being at the helm of the next Black Star project, Madlib explains the delay’s on him. “The only thing I’ve got to do is figure out what I used for some of the songs,” the producer admits. “I’m the type of producer that just freestyles my beats. I don’t even really get what I’m doing, I just keep going, you know?” he adds before noting the hardest part of the process has been identifying the source material for his beats, presumably for sample clearances.

In another excerpt from the interview, the producer opens up about his relationships and first encounters with the late J Dilla and MF DOOM, respectively. “I knew we needed to collab when I heard Doomsday,” Madlib notes, revealing he wasn’t aware of DOOM’s prior life as a member of KMD when he heard the rapper’s debut solo album. Madlib describes a similar kinship with Dilla. “It’s something that’s just unspoken. When I met [Dilla,] it was like we knew each other for years. Me and him could sit in a room and not even talk and still connect musically. It’s weird, like on some alien shit. Same type of energy, basically,” the producer warmly recounts. “That’s my beat brother. He’s king of the beats to me,” he adds.

Watch clips of Talib Kweli’s interview with Madlib from the next installment of The People’s Party podcast below. Tune in Monday for the full episode.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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