The History Of Madvillain

This article originally was posted by myself on reddit, but has since been expanded and edited. Some knowledge of DOOM and Madlib is presumed.

2001 — pre-Madvillainy

In 2001 MF DOOM (born Daniel Dumile January 9 1971) was living between New York and Atlanta. His album Operation: Doomsday had released in 1999 but his record label, Fondle ’Em, had since closed down. Left without a record label DOOM produced work for other artists such as MC Paul Barman’s Paullelujah! album and the Godzilla themed hip hop group Monsta Island Czars where DOOM appeared as King Geedorah.

2002 — Recording starts

At this time Stones Throw was being run out of a house in LA with Madlib making music in a bomb shelter underneath the house. After some negotiation DOOM came to LA and would spend his days at the house writing.

Nov 2002–2003 — The Leak

In November 2002, Madlib visited Brazil as part of Red Bull Music Academy and continued work on the album. He later spoke to Scratch Magazine about digging for records while in Brazil:

Late 2003 — Finishing the album

In between the leak, the Jaylib album Champion Sound flopped commercially selling 16000 units by 2004. DOOM meanwhile continued to do his own thing and released Take Me to Your Leader under the moniker King Geedorah, as well as Vaudeville Villain as Viktor Vaughn produced by Heat Sensor, King Honey, Max Bill, and RJD2.

2003 — Cover Art

Jeff Jank discused the the creation of the album cover in 2011:

2004–2006 — Madvillainy and Remixes

Preceeding the album Stones Throw released one more single, All Caps / Curls available on both 12" vinyl and CD.

2006–2008 — Madvillainy 2

Fans were understandably hungry for more Madvillain, and in January 2006 the Stones Throw website claimed “A second Madvillain album is on track for 2006 release.” While it didn’t materialise, some beats and pieces did get released over the coming years.

  • A remix of Space Ho’s from 2005’s Dangerdoom album, a collaboration between DOOM and producer Danger Mouse.

2009–2015 — Leaks and Rumours

In April 2009 DOOM invited The New Yorker to sit in on recording sessions for the sequel to Madvillainy, and the reporter witnesses DOOM writing the song Travis 911.

2016+ — Avalanche

In December 2016 Avalanche was announced as a pre-order to ship Feb 2017. The song was released as a 7" record by Madlib Invazion, Madlib’s record label seperate from Stones Throw. The 7" was also packaged with an 8” Madvillian figure which was created by the same team behind the 2007 Madvillain figure by Kid Robot.

An Australian writer with a passion for research. In 2020 he published Making Psyence Fiction, a book on the creation of UNKLE’s debut album. www.jamesgaunt.com

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