Hua Hsu at The New Yorker:
Madlib has always seemed more concerned with making music than with the question of what to do with it. The forty-seven-year-old producer and multi-instrumentalist has estimated that he makes hundreds of beats a week, many of which he never shares with anyone. His beats are a form of homage. He listens carefully to an old record, trying to squeeze every musical possibility out of it, to follow every path not taken. Sometimes it’s therapeutic. The week that Prince died, Madlib mourned by making tracks built on Prince samples. Following the death of his collaborator J Dilla, and then that of MF DOOM, he stayed awake for days, making hundreds of hours of music. Since the nineties, Madlib has essentially been building a private, ever-expanding library of beats, which spans everything from hip-hop, jazz, and soul to German rock, industrial music, Brazilian funk, and Bollywood. He has released dozens of albums under just as many aliases. Sometimes the aliases splinter off to form side projects. For Madlib, making music is as elemental as eating or sleeping, though he claims to do very little of the latter.