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Track of the Day: Madlib – Black Widow

There are very few artists who can claim to have influenced a genre as profoundly over the past decade as Otis Jackson Jr. The prodigiousness of his work, whether operating as a solo artist – under the monikers of Quasimoto or Madlib – or pairing with fellow hip-hop demigods J Dilla (as Jaylib) and MF DOOM (as Madvillain), has sealed his rightful place as one of the most creative hip-hop producers of all time. 

But he isn’t done yet. Having already released 6 volumes of his Beat Konducta series between 2001 and 2009, he’s returning this year with Rock Konducta Vol. 1 – its next iteration. And he’s turned his head to the vibrant, psychedelic 70s African rock – known as Zamrock – for inspiration. On his latest single, ‘Black Widow’, his signature loop-jostling style is paired with soulful vocals that are sampled from “Now Your Time Has Come” by Tomorrow, and interspersed with vocals from J Dilla. It’s a colliding, funky instrumental that grows into its Zamrock guitar-heavy coda. He chops Dilla’s line from McNasty, “When I pop collars” into an ad-lib about “shaking haters”; and ‘Black Widow’ definitely sounds like Madlib at his collar-popping best.

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