- Michael Shields
This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Los Angeles-based writer Will Hagle. Will is a co-host of the Connecting The Classics podcast and a great deal of his work can be found on the webzine Passion of The Weiss. He is also the author of the excellent 33 ⅓ book dedicated to MF DOOM and Madlib’s album Madvillainy. The book — which is the focus of this episode — celebrates Madvillainy as a representation of two genius musical minds melding to form one revered supervillain. A product of circumstance, the album came together soon after MF DOOM’s resurgence and Madlib’s reluctant return from avant-garde jazz to hip-hop. Written from the alternating perspectives of three fake music journalist superheroes — and featuring interviews with Wildchild, Cut Chemist, M.E.D, Walasia, Stones Throw execs, and many other individuals involved with the album’s creation — Will’s book blends fiction and non-fiction to celebrate Madvillainy not just as an album, but as a folkloric artifact. It is one specific retelling of a story which, like Madvillain’s music, continues to spawn infinite legends. In this episode host Michael Shields and Will Hagle discuss both Madlib and MF DOOM’s origin story while expounding at length what makes Madvillainy such a special and enduring piece of art. They explore the somewhat disputed stories on how MF DOOM and Madlib connected for the project, and dig into how unique it was that Madvillainy existed as an album that straddled the analog and digital eras. They celebrate the song “Accordion,” as one of the most unparalleled songs in hip-hop history, remark on Madvillainy’s profound influence in modern music, and so much more.
Grab a copy of Will Hagle’s Madvillainy 33⅓ here — and learn more about Will’s projects at his subtack.
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