On Piñata, Madlib created a sequence of musical mosaics. They helped to depict, via the robust Freddie Gibbs, scenes of gangster indiscretion (as well as an ode to Gibbs’ favourite fast food restaurant). On one of the best hip-hop records of the 2010s, MadGibbs transcended formula by distilling each of their idiosyncrasies and blaring them out with loud, virtuosic confidence. The producer’s love affair with striking soul and gliding strings has never been put to more commanding effect. This phenomenal partnership solders the cultural kaleidoscopes that are Madlib’s samples, with cinematic, raw stories of life steaming by in one corner of America.
A favourite: ‘Deeper’