Quasimoto’s Song About Tired Feet Still Gets Heads Moving To The Beat (Video)

Today, vocal effects are commonplace with rappers and MCs. Future, Kanye West, and Nicki Minaj are all artists who have used special effects. Fifteen years ago, this trend—in Hip-Hop, was not so prevalent.

In the summer of 2000, Quasimoto came forward with a full-length album. After making an appearance on Stones Throw Records founder Peanutbutter Wolf’s My Vinyl Weighs A Ton album, Madlib’s high-pitched alter-ego made a foray into his own LP. The Unseen, released in July 2000, would be Madlib’s first album following Lootpack.

Stones Throw, who previously released albums by Wolf, Rasco, and DJ Rob Swift, would be discovering one of its most significant artists. As Madlib would later do alongside MF DOOM, he created a character. Lord Quas was reportedly a distraction from Madlib’s dissatisfaction with his speaking voice. However, there was something catchy about the cloudy vocals, the soulful themes, and more importantly, the production that backed it.

Madlib would feed himself (and well, Quas’) some of his most whimsical beat creations. They would feature punchy needle-drops and mass media samples, with delicious aural arrangements at the core. “Come On Feet,” which became a low-key (at the time) video, was one example. With puppets and a handmade background, the visual was the perfect companion to such an inventive album. Like Avenue Q‘s response to Sesame Street, the world juxtaposed a children’s TV show with grim realities. The message of a tired, traveling man resonated.

Quasimoto released two additional albums following The Unseen. However, the breakthrough remains a hallmark in Stones Throw’s risk-taking, and a statement vision from Otis Jackson, Jr. In the years since, Madlib has put in work alongside Kanye West, Erykah Badu, and the vaults of Blue Note Records.

Related: Here Are 2 Hours of Madlib & Pete Rock Sets as Curated by J. Rocc (Audio)