Release Date: Sep 30, 2008
Record label: Rapster
For reasons unknown, Rapster decided to say farewell to their innovative Beat Generation series, but they certainly went out in style -- the last one to leave was none other than the multifarious Madlib, the Beat Konducta. A 24-track strong mix album, WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip turns out the lights with nothing but Madlib productions (most of them previously unheard) and a range of friends and family providing the frequent vocal features. Similar to his Beat Konducta releases, this joint is all AM -- unlicensed, street-corner, low-power, community radio, with all the static and interference listeners have come to expect from the premier soundtracker of an alternate reality of radio programming.
Unlike many of his contemporaries (like MF DOOM, who spent 2008 pretty much ruining his reputation to fans and Internet-heads alike), Madlib did not end his quest to release as many albums as humanly possible. Aside from WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip, he dropped two instrumental Beat Konducta volumes dedicated to the late J Dilla with the help of J-Rocc; worked with Ivan Conti as Jackson Conti to release Sujinho; and remixed Percee P’s Perseverance and Madvillian’s Madvillainy, both of which Madlib had already produced. On top of that, he crafted tracks for Erykah Badu, Guilty Simpson, and various other artists.
W.L.I.B AM: King of the Wigflip, the last-ever installment in Rapster/BBE’s Beat Generation series, is not one of those releases. Which isn’t to say that it’s a misfire. Wigflip , a loose collection of instrumentals and collaborations within Madlib’s MC Repertory (Guilty Simpson, J. Rocc, MED), is exactly the album dude wanted to make.
In the hands of Madlib the Beat Konducta, the played-out concept of using a fantasy radio station as a way to make sense of a disjointed mix is still played out. But it says a lot about how his rep has risen in recent years that he believes a hazy mix on disc created in sensi-round will go over just as well as a blunted club set. His Mind Fusion mix series works because there is a certain coherence to the material, which at least appears to be carefully chosen, whereas King Of The Wigflip comes off like a quickly thrown together assortment of odds, ends and leftovers from Stones Throw sessions.