Madlib And Mac Miller Have An Unreleased Joint Album
Several Hip-Hop artists have been at work on special projects at the time of their passing. In the last year of his life, Tupac had begun recording a One Nation project that involved his Outlawz, as well as East Coast Rap luminaries including Buckshot, Smif-n-Wessun, and Greg Nice, among others. That projected, intended for Pac’s Makaveli Records imprint, also had a wish-list that included DJ Premier, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Scarface, E-40, and OutKast, among others. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was rolling with Roc-A-Fella Records in the days before his passing, recording his third solo set. Five years ago, Sean Price was at work with fellow Brownsville, Brooklyn native Lil Fame on a special project with the M.O.P. co-founder also known as Fizzy Womack producing.
Tragically, Rap fans can add a Mac Miller project to that list. Miller, who died of an overdose last September, had worked with producer/DJ/MC Madlib while alive. Mac was a guest on 2014’s Pinata album with Freddie Gibbs on the closing title track (embedded below). Both artists are known to be prolific multi-threats who enjoy releasing music under guises and monikers. In recent years, both men made their homes in Southern California.
Shortly after Mac’s passing, Madlib’s manager and business partner, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt confirmed that the two artists had “started to work on a project together” in an Instagram tribute. Egon added, “[Mac Miller’s] rapping on Madlib’s beats were better than many others who had tried to tackle the same tracks before him. When Madlib would play a song at a festival somewhere, I would send a text, and we would talk about making some music, having fun.”
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We lost a good one today – a sincere, funny, self-effacing and, underneath an unflinching beyond-his-years visage, sensitive person. An artist whose best years were ahead of him. . I’ll be honest and say I didn’t pay his music much mind until I heard him on what would become the last moment of the last track on the Freddie Gibbs and Madlib album, ‘Piñata.’ ‘O’Doyle Rules.’ ‘Did that mean what I think it means?’ Laughs. ‘Man, we gotta kick it.’ . We hung out, talked about music, started to work on a project together. His rapping on Madlib’s beats were better than many others who had tried to to tackle the same tracks before him. When Madlib would play a song at a festival somewhere I would send a text and we would talk about making some music, having fun. . We all hung out at the offices one day, and it was a day full of smiles. I snapped this pic then. He asked for ‘one of those turntables where the arm picks up at the end of the record.’ I ended up helping him refurbish a Denon DP52. I remember him looking at the deck with a young person’s wonder. The turntable was more than a decade older than him. It didn’t seem that way. But I think of his youth now and it’s heartbreaking. RIP.
This week, Heads got a bit more information on the project, including a title. Chicago, Illinois artist Thelonious Martin worked with Miller on 2014’s “Malcolm Interlude,” among other collaborative work. As part of an ongoing “Year Of Mac” content series, Martin told DJ Booth‘s Donna-Claire Chesman about the Madlib project, as someone who has spoken to both halves.
“When we was working on ‘Guidelines,’ [Mac Miller] was always excited about all these other songs. He had this Madlib album, called Maclib. I opened for Madlib in Chicago last summer, at [the] Pitchfork [Festival]. So I’m opening for Madlib, and about 15, 20 minutes left in my set, Madlib pulls up. Pete Rock walks up as well. So I’m trying to focus and DJ, and Madlib gets on and 15 minutes into his set he just randomly plays a Mac Miller joint. And I turn to him, I’m like, ‘There’s more of these, right?’ He’s said, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a whole album. Maclib’” What! What! He just kept moving on with his DJ set. If Madlib decides to bless the world with that project, he should.”
Earlier today (February 20), Madlib and Freddie Gibbs released “Flat Tummy Tea,” the first single from their sophomore full-length collaboration, Bandana. Last year, Ambrosia For Heads named Mac’s Swimming to its Top 15 Albums Of 2018 list.
#BonusBeat: Madlib & Freddie Gibbs’ “Pinata,” featuring Mac Miller, Domo Genesis, Casey Veggies, G-Wiz, Meechy Darko, and Sulaiman: