The second half of the piece in which we dive into Madvillainy's extensive catalogue of samples. If you haven't read the first instalment, it's over here.
"Shadows Of Tomorrow"
"Shadows Of Tomorrow" heralds the return of Quasimoto: after his standout verse on "America's Most Blunted," he's back to duet with Madlib himself. You can hear Madlib repeating "Sun Ra" in the outro, a straight up reference to the legendary artist sampled within.
Madlib borrows again from Rahul Dev Burman, the Bollywood composer who appeared twice on "Do Not Fire!" This time, he borrows a frantic bassline and a melodic flute from "Hindu Hoon Main Na Musalman Hoon," another track from his 1976 Maha Chor OST.
The sample appears in the track's very first moments.
Sun Ra's third appearance on Madvillainy follows his musical contributions to "America's Most Blunted" and "The Illest Villains." On "Shadows of Tomorrow," Madlib takes dialogue from Ra's 1974 Afrofuturist feature, Space Is The Place. The samples occur at 1:19, 1:47 and 1:54 in the video.
The distinctive drum loop in "Shadows of Tomorrow" is taken from Carolyn Sullivan's "Dead!," a 1967 funk single.
"Operation Lifesaver aka Mint Test"
A harsh juxtaposition of lyrics and production create humour on "Operation Lifesaver," in which DOOM recounts his struggle to deal with a partner with bad breath. Madlib's melodramatic sampling only plays up the ridiculousness of DOOM's story.
The soaring guitar solo that buoys the frantic narration is taken from George Duke's "Prepare Yourself," a track off his 1967 album, I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry. The easily identifiable sample occurs at 3:32.
Despite his (mad) villainy, Madlib takes elements from Arthur Korb's 1966 "Theme of the Justice League of America."
The hammy lines scattered throughout the skit: "the world is under attack...", "Operation Lifesaver is in full effect!" and "the whole world's counting on you!" are scattered throughout the Madvillainy interlude. They can be found between 1:54 and 1:15 in the corresponding video.
Another retro superhero sample comes from "The Defeat Of The Dehydrator," another track from Tifton Records' 1975 release, Stories And Songs About The Justice League Of America. It's the second of three "Operation Lifesaver" samples that Madlib plunders from the same record.
Madlib takes a brief piece of dialogue from Mera - "no, we've stopped!" - and inserts it at the 1:13 mark.
A less popular DC property, Metamorpho was introduced just ten years before Triton's record was released. In the story, he battles Fumo, an ancient Incan god. The other superheroes who appear on the narrative album are Wonder Woman, The Flash and Plastic Man.
The two samples appear at 4:45 and 4:51 in the accompanying video, and at 0:05 in "Operation Lifesaver."
The fleeting sound effect at 1:23 is taken from the opening to a 1966 Flash Gordon serial. Though Gordon originated in a 1934 comic strip, he's often best remembered for his high-camp 1980 film adaptation starring Sam J. Jones, Max Von Sydow and Timothy Dalton. That picture is also notable for the official 18-song Queen soundtrack.
Madlib borrows the cosmic sound that heralds the programs open, followed by the booming announcement: "the official adventures of--." This specific serial has been sampled by Schoolly D, Grandmaster Flash, Pete Rock and Fatboy Slim.
Madlib merges this reggae sample with his Flash Gordon grab, creating "the official adventures of-- the magnificent! The magnificent!" It's a segue into Madvillainy's next track, "Figaro."
Dave & Ansell Collins' 1970 single "Double Barrel" was just the second reggae track to top the charts in the UK. Despite this, the pair only released two singles, with the second peaking at #7.
"Figaro" is one big verse into a brief outro. DOOM takes centre stage, working alongside an excellent but subdued Madlib.
The first of two Dr. Lonnie Smith samples on "Figaro" comes from "In The Beginning," a track off his 1967 debut, Finger Lickin' Good. A teacher-turned-musician, Smith was a jazz organist who would go on to acclaim throughout the 1970s. The guitar at 0:18 becomes the crux of "Figaro," appearing at 0:14 and repeating throughout.
Dr. Lonnie Smith is also present in the track's fast-paced opening groove. That sample's taken from another track on Finger Lickin' Good, "Jeannine." The sampled elements can be found at 2:26 and 2:38.
Another of DOOM's lyrical interpolations recalls "Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Bakers Man," a traditional English folk song. DOOM himself is British, though he lived for much of his life in the United States.
"Pat-a-cake" is one of the oldest surviving English nursery rhymes, first appearing in Thomas D'Urfey's 1698 play, The Campaigners.
The discordant horns underpinning "Hardcore Hustle" are taken from an all-star cover of Sly & the Family Stone's 1968 track, "Sing a Simple Song." This rendition, recorded just a year later, features Diana Ross, The Supremes and The Temptations. It was released on Motown Records.
The samples can be gleamed at 2:21 and 2:53, with "Hardcore Hustle" alternating between the two instrumental loops.
Madlib takes two seperate samples from BBC Sound Effects' 1978 release, Sound Effects No. 21 - More Death And Horror. Whilst releasing sound effect packages on vinyl is an outdated model, the BBC now hosts their sound effect library online.
He utilises sounds from track four, "Sweeney Todd The Barber," at 0:57. The loud scream dominates the track for a moment, a shocking and almost cartoonish use of vintage horror sound effects.
The second sound effect from More Death And Horror is found on "Premature Burial," the eleventh track on the A side. The distressed moaning and scratching sounds are intended as the sounds of a yet-alive man coming to in an already-buried casket.
The album was compiled by Mike Harding, a veteran BBC producer who worked on many BBC Records releases.
A looping vocal alongside cutting drums drives "Strange Ways," a steady and relentless assault from DOOM. As the track closes, the theme of infidelity is broached via sample, setting the stage for "Fancy Clown."
"Strange Ways" is built upon a sample of British prog-rock group Gentle Giant. Though they were only active for a decade, the group achieved cult status amongst rock connoisseurs.
"Funny Ways" is a track off their self-titled debut. Madlib samples a select twenty-three second segment of their track, looping different elements to create a verse and a hook. The sample can be heard from 1:28 in the accompanying video.
The brief skit at the close is lifted from Tex Avery's 1951 cartoon short, Symphony in Slang. A comedy about the oddities of slang, Madlib plunders narration detailing how "Mary was going around with an old flame," a revelation which segues into "Fancy Clown."
A song about infidelity houses one of DOOM's most interesting concepts, a crossover between two of his distinct alter-egos. Viktor Vaughn, under whose name DOOM has released two albums, laments the loss of his girl to "tin head," DOOM himself.
Z.Z. Hill's "That Ain't The Way You Make Love" is one of Madlib's most direct samples. The opening of "Fancy Clown" is built upon a pitch-shifted sample of Hill's track, one which steeps the Madvillainy highlight in earnest, mournful crooning.
Hill's 1982 album, Down Home, was one of the most popular blues records of the '80s. He died in 1984 from injuries sustained in a car crash.
The youthful voices in the background of the opening bid each other farewell, saying "I'll see you tomorrow!" These vocals are taken from "Walking In The Rain With The One I Love," a 1972 R&B single by female soul trio Love Unlimited.
The group acted as backing vocalists for Barry White, who went on to marry trio member Glodean James. The sample in question can be found at 0:13.
Stacy Epps features on "Eye," a vague and ethereal two minutes devoid of DOOM. Epps' altered voice fades in and out, flickering as Madlib bends and shapes it a curious blend of uplifting and mysterious.
The Whispers were a boogie/R&B group who achieved chart success from the seventies to the naughts. "So Good" is a synth-heavy album cut from their years at SOLAR Records. The sample can be heard from 0:13 onward, and occurs throughout "Eye."
Another fleeting instrumental, coming in at almost one minute long. It finds Madlib dabbling in prog rock again, something he previosuly did on "Strange Ways."
The instrumental intro to O Terço's "Adormeceu" acts as the backing to Madvillain's "Supervillain Theme," one of just three instrumentals on the 22-track album.
O Terço were an influential Brazilian prog-rock band, one of the first such groups in the country. Formed in 1968, they released "Adormeceu" on their 1973 record, Terço.
The sound grab that opens "Supervillain Theme" is actually saying "cold gettin' dumb," the title of the track from which it was lifted. It's taken from Just-Ice's debut album, Back To The Old School, notable for being one of the East Coast's first gangsta rap efforts.
In 2010, he released a collaborative EP with KRS-One, an artist DOOM interpolated on Madvillain cut "Money Folder."
One of Madvillainy's most successful and memorable singles, "All Caps" is a song that's ensured fans everywhere spell DOOM as DOOM. Just remember - all caps when you spell the man's name.
The distinctive piano lick running throughout "All Caps" is one of the most enduring instrumentals of Madvillainy. It's taken from the score of NBC's Ironside, an eight-season crime drama that ran from '67 to '75. Not only was the show's theme composed by Quincy Jones, but the Ironside siren would eventually be immortalised in Tarantino's Kill Bill. A number of different sampled elements arise between 0:45 and 1:00.
"All Caps" closes with a seemingly unrelated musical vignette: tinkling keys with a vintage feel. They're taken from the fifteenth episode of Ironside's second season, which originally aired in 1969. This sample begins at 1:51 in "All Caps."
Impressively, if not unsurprisingly, "All Caps" contains the only documented musical samples of Ironside.
Clearly constructing "All Caps" around samples from antiquated police procedurals, Madlib repurposes a brief musical moment from ABC's The Streets Of San Fransisco. The program debuted in 1972 and starred a young Michael Douglas as a Californian detective.
The sample can be heard at 0:05 in the video - it's both easily identifiable and bizarrely obscure, a piece of transitional scene music in a long-forgotten crime show.
DOOM borrows a lyrical reference from Nice & Smooth, an East Coast duo from the 1990s. "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow" was the first single off their sophomore album, 1991's Ain't A Damn Thing Changed. It sampled Tracey Chapman's "Fast Car" and discussed harsh political and social content.
Some Tupac fans claim that Nice & Smooth were being courted by the late legend for his planned label, Makaveli Records. Pac was killed before moving forward with the project.
Madlib emulates Stevie Wonder on "Great Day," whilst DOOM channels his inner Ready for the World fan. It's a potent combination.
The upbeat, animated instrumental for "Great Day" is based on "How Can You Believe" by Eivets Rednow. The curious name explains the artist: it's simply Stevie Wonder backwards.
Wonder released Eivets Rednow, his ninth studio album, in 1968. It was credited to the bizarre pseudonym, perhaps because it was an easy listening album. Madlib didn't actually sample this one: he replayed the instrumental himself.
DOOM's languid refrain, "it never really mattered that much to me," is an interpolation of Ready for the World's "Love You Down." It was an R&B chart topper on release in 1986, peaking at #9 on the Billboard 100.
Buoyed by that single, the group's sophomore album, Long Time Coming, was a commercial success. They failed to ever replicate that success, eventually disbanding in 1991.
The subdued singing and eerie strings that accompany DOOM's last thoughts are courtesy of Brazilian artist Maria Bethânia. The sample is taken from her 1971 track "Mariana Mariana," included on her fourth studio album, A Tua Presença....
One of Brazil's most successful musical artists, Bethânia's sold more than 26 million records in her five-decade career.
Madlib's tendency to borrow multiple elements from an artists' catalogue for a single track comes to a head at "Rhinestone Cowboy," where he samples crowd applause from another of Maria Bethânia's tracks.
This time he plunders "Molambo," a live track included on her first live album, 1968's Recital na Boite Barroco.
"Rhinestone Cowboy" opens with general conversation amongst tokes: "great stuff," remarks a man. "Yeah, this is good," agrees his partner. This final sample recalls A Child's Garden Of Grass, the 1971 stoner comedy album that's featured heavily in "America's Most Blunted."
The sample's inclusion almost reads as a playful reaffirmation of the duo's weed smoking prowess: they claimed to smoke all day back on track six, and here they are, still at it. The sample can be heard at 3:00.
For Decades To Come...
If anything, the eighty-one samples and interpolations discussed above only add to the legend of Madlib and DOOM. Madlib's peerless knowledge of music, unrestricted by era and genre, is both a strong artistic asset and a remarkable trove of knowledge. Whilst Madvillainy entertains, it also informs, incorporating elements of art and culture otherwise maligned by history and time.
So, if you made it this far: what's your favourite sample on Madvillainy? Which samples combine to make the best track? Which of the samples is the best track in its own right?