Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.


Champion Sound (Stones Throw)

Teaming up rappers with other rappers is a fairly common thing, but producers collaborating with other producers doesn't happen every day. J-Dilla (Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, Common) and Madlib (Quasimoto, Yesterday's New Quintet, Dudley Perkins) have two distinctly different approaches, but their new collaboration could be just the pimp-slap hip-hop needs to get over its artistically challenged hump.

The juxtaposition of Madlib's unorthodox arrangements and J-Dilla's minimalist funk could have been like oil and water; instead, it's more like guacamole and chips. Champion Sound represents a historic meeting of two musically gifted minds, who reshape hip-hop's sonic landscape while giving a humorous, knowing nod to its familiar clichés. Dismissing "fake gangsters" while simultaneously upholding their own playa status, Jaylib gets crunk without getting ignorant.

The obvious downside of a production-driven album is that the music is much stronger than the lyrics. Madlib's helium-voiced alter ego, Quasimoto, is a gimmick best used sparingly, and J-Dilla is no threat to Eminem or even Royce da 5'9" on the mic. But who cares? It's all about the ill tracks, and Champion Sound will have the competition crying "Murderer!"

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

More by Eric K. Arnold


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation