Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

The Majesticons 

Beauty Party (BigDada)

Mike Ladd is hip-hop's Baz Luhrmann and its Alvin Toffler. A maniacally brainy thirtysomething lyricist-producer, Ladd fashions Luhrmannesque opera from a crude mash of classic material and current media, then embeds 'em with modern philosophical meaning à la Toffler.

With a conceptual trilogy on the mythic battle between the indie Infesticons and the jiggy Majesticons for control of hip-hop's soul (of which the Majesticons' last LP, Beauty Party, is the nonresolvable middle chapter), Ladd is creating hip-hop culture's Ill-iad. He molds questions of art and capitalism into a comprehensive world theory.

Even if you read all the liner notes and are familiar with the tale's first part, 2000's Gun Hill Road, staying on top of the narrative can be hopeless. Following Ladd's aspirations down every alley is like citing an album's worth of Bomb Squad samples. Ladd's sonics rock different schools of laptop funk, from Cash Money's booty bounce to Kid 606's dada destructo-art. His grad-school storytelling vernacular and the skills of the assembled cast (which includes Def Jux luminaries El-P, Vast Aire, and Murs) ignite with the greatest possibility of posse records. Like life, hardly anything about this Asimov-scale world is small.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Piotr Orlov

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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


Staff Pick Events

  • Kacey Musgraves @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Sun., Jan. 23
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Kiry Shabazz @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 27

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation