On Quasimoto’s The Unseen

Twenty years ago today, Madlib released this landmark album under the guise of Quasimoto. This San Francisco Bay Guardian essay was published during the time of its initial release.

Anti-Crack Raps

This chapter from a 2014-2015 series on early rap music focuses on how artists responded to the crack plague of the mid-to-late 1980s. It’s an example of how the culture has always illustrated current events throughout its history.

Strictly Business: The Alchemist

In a 2002 URB interview, the producer talks about the business of making beats, his relationship with Mobb Deep, and the “We Gonna Make It” controversy.

Rap Songs for Home

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to roil the globe, home has taken on a new urgency. This playlist assembled around a word is fraught with meaning.

Madlib, the Instrumentalist

Madlib is one of the most acclaimed hip-hop producers of the past two decades. But his instrumentals often go unnoticed.

Star Wars Funk

George Lucas’ Star Wars hit America like a pop culture meteor in the summer of 1977. The R&B scene wasn’t immune from the impact.