MED, Blu & Madlib – Bad Neighbor (Bang Ya Head Ent.; 2015)
Madlib reliably brings out the best of his obscure samples on Bad Neighbor, a fifteen-track collaborative project. While the resulting instrumentals are intriguing and groovy, the album is unfortunately plagued by a muddy vocal mix that makes many of its lyrics hard to decipher. Both MED and Blu are known to be lyrically consistent and verbose and Bad Neighbor is no exception; both rappers deliver on flows, peppering verses with lines that leave you inclined to rewind. The many features on this project, from newcomers like recent Dr. Dre recruit Anderson Paak to Madlib’s right-hand man MF DOOM, add perspective and flavour to the package and make it feel like more than a simple collaboration. Though it’s not about to turn heads like the best of Madlib’s catalogue, Bad Neighbor is a solid addition overall.
Trial Track: “Finer Things”