Champagne for Breakfast highlights the strengths and weaknesses of Meyhem Lauren, who’s best known for riding shotgun on Action Bronson’s various multimedia adventures. He’s got a decent po-faced style and a capacity to crack a few fly bars but lacks the conceptual savvy to elevate his street dreams into something more transcendent than a thug-rap excursion. Over the past several years, Muggs has made himself into the Gothic composer of the “drumless” era — he did excellent work on Westside Gunn’s Flygod Is an Awesome God — and his highlights include “OD Wilson” and “Evolution,” the latter on which Meyhem raps, “I specialize in aeronautics, got a fly team.” Meanwhile, Madlib interjects vocal loops on Muggs’ beats, and his “Triple M Airlines” is a nice, crackly instrumental. The beats attributed to Madlib alone seem aimless in comparison to Muggs, but he eventually achieves synergy with Meyhem on “Wild Salmon,” a light disco-boogie closer. Rap cameos include Action Bronson and Meyhem’s brother, Hologram. Muggs released Champagne for Breakfast on his Soul Assassin Records label.
A 2021 “Gold Chains Edition” of Quasimoto’s 2005 album, with new artwork inspired by Sgt. Pepper’s. Note the name spelled out in bricks.
The Record Store Day pressing of Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata ’84 has art inspired by a design Island Records used in 1983 and 1984.
Twenty years ago today, Madlib released The Unseen as Quasimoto. This San Francisco Bay Guardian essay was published at its initial release.
Madlib is one of the most acclaimed hip-hop producers of the past two decades. But his instrumentals often go unnoticed.