Tha Alkaholiks Recall Discovering & Mentoring Madlib (Video)
Madlib & Freddie Gibbs have made one of 2019’s best Hip-Hop albums in the form of Bandana. The Keep Cool/RCA Records album is a benchmark release in both artists’ discography. While Gangsta Gibbs’ journey dates back to the mid-2000s, Madlib’s credits date back more than 25 years. In 1993, Madlib’s group, The Lootpack, debuted on Tha Alkaholiks’ 21 & Over LP, care of “Turn The Party Out” (embedded below).
For Madlib, Wildchild, and DJ Romes, roles would continue on 1995’s Coast II Coast and 1997’s Likwidation. For a time, the collective of affiliates became The Likwit Crew, which included King T, Xzibit, Defari, Phil Da Agony, and others.
In an interview with 247HH, The Liks spoke about putting Lootpack, including a young Otis Jackson, Jr. on. “That’s what we do, man. We discover talent, and we put them in the position to do better for themselves,” says producer/DJ E-Swift, who cut his teeth on early King T LPs. “Madlib was one that showed up. His work spoke for itself. There’s a lot of people we put on too that just didn’t make it.”
Tash adds, “It all started with a cassette tape with Madlib ‘cause I found him in a party in Oxnard, California. He was with his group the Lootpack. So, Cracker Jack, him, Kankick, DJ Romes… All them dudes was at this party and they was rapping’ and sh*t, but it wasn’t like they were rapping’ on the stage, they was just rapping’ in a circle or something…whatever. I was like, these dudes [are] kind of hard. And he gave me the demo tape, and we went to the car to peep his demo tape out. And I think he was like 17 or something like that because I remember when he played the tape, I took him back to Swift [and] I said, ‘Aw sh*t, n**ga, listen to this though. Listen to the beats.’ I said, ‘This dude got it. Listen to this, Swift.’ And Swift was like, ‘Damn, you right.’”
Tash adds that Madlib’s father was his manager at that time. The Ohio born lyricist had to have a dinner meeting with Otis Jackson Sr. at their home in Oxnard to get the okay for Quasimoto to go on tour with the group. Tha Liks also wanted to take Madib’s little brother, Oh No (who later co-founded Gangrene) on the road, but at the time he was too young.
Speaking on how prolific The Loop Digga was early on, Swift states, “He’s like a mad scientist though. He would stay with me. Madlib would come to the city and stay with me for weeks. I ain’t gonna lie; I would leave, I’d go to the studio, come back, [and] this motherf*cker done made 50 beats off of like two records. I was like, Damn I gotta step my sh*t up. Yo, he would be like ‘check this out, check this out…’ Dude, he’s a mad genius.” He also reveals that he used to give The Beat Konducta his extra equipment, and that while ‘Lib would take it and use it, he preferred to stick to the simple and straightforward SP404.
Although J-Ro lets his Liks brothers elaborate on finding Madlib, he chimes in towards the end of the video to stress that the artist born Otis Jackson Jr. “always had it” and that he was already quite advanced when they met him. In 1999, Lootpack released Soundpieces: Da Antidote on Stones Throw.
Last year, The Liks made an appearance on Sadat X’s Diamond D-produced Sum Of A Man. At AFH TV, Diamond also spoke about watching a young Madlib get busy on Alkaholiks’ LPs. We are currently offering free 7-day trials.
#BonusBeat: Tha Alkaholiks’ “Turn The Party Out,” featuring Lootpack: