Madlib - Madlib Medicine Show No. 11: Low Budget High Fi Music

HipHopDX Editor's Rating:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Average User Rating:


11 people have voted.

5 is the most popular ranking.

6 people gave it a perfect five.

Cast your vote »

Low Budget Hi Fi Music is definitely a keeper and is a sonic testament to the Oxnard musician's magical ability to make tripped-out beats that satisfy.

Since the early ‘90s, Otis Jackson, Jr. (a/k/a Madlib) has always been somewhat of a musical anomaly, a ganja-loving emcee/producer who provides memorable beats that walk the fine line between stoner jams and thug anthems. With the passing of his beloved friend and spiritual brother, J Dilla, Mad is one of the few beat-heads left that use the sampler as a musical instrument to further explore Hip Hop’s more ethereal sounds without sacrificing his L.A. street credibility.

On Madlib Medicine Show #11: Low Budget Hi Fi Music, the Oxnard native showcases his latest aural masterpieces in the form of a mixtape. While earlier volumes have focused solely on a wide array of influences that have formed the Stones Throw affiliate’s unique perspective on beat-making (e.g., Jazz, Reggae, Rock and Soul) or compilations of dope remixes and earlier joints, Low Budget Hi Fi Music is strictly for those wanting to hear the Madlib’s “next level” creations. Does this aforementioned full-length live up to the hype or does it have too much filler to be remembered as a worthy addition to the Ox representative’s decorated resume of making left-field Rap music?

Fans will rejoice in the fact that Madlib’s latest offering is as good as anything that he has released in the last few years. There is no question that the addition of various guest vocalists greatly adds to the quality of this particular release, especially in keeping Madlib’s heady sound fully immersed in the harsh reality of the streets. For example, “Real Talk” (featuring L.M.D.) is a masterful joint that fully captures the frustration of blue-collar musicians who are as sick of the music labels for exploiting their art and creativity for the sake of the mighty dollar. “O.G., Part 2 (Underwater Mix)” is another wonderful marriage of abstract beats and rhymes, with Oh No (Madlib’s younger sibling and talented musician in his own right) providing a soliloquy of street dreams that blends smoothly with Madlib’s bouncy drums and chopped-up samples. Thirdly, “Charlie Hustle” (featuring Strong Arm Steady) is a certified banger that fully captures the ethos of the boulevard hustler and his quest for fortune and fame. Other notable tracks include “Start Something (93033)” (featuring the Professionals and Roc C), “Stageridin’” (featuring Frank Nitty) and “Thoughts of an Old Flame” (featuring Guilty Simpson).

Although the majority of instrumentals on the album are wholly entertaining and add to the hushed narrative of Madlib’s laid-back brilliance, the proliferation of skits and short snippets keep this from being a damn near-perfect album. Take, for instance, Madlib’s use of a confusing dialogue from an obscure TV show, otherwise known as “Smoke Break” (Whodat?). Placed between two powerful vocal tracks (i.e., “Loose Girl” featuring Strong Arm Steady and “Interview #4080” featuring Supreme Team), its omission from Medicine Show #11 would not have mattered much to most listeners. Another misstep, “Minze,” is a strange ditty that sounds like it would have been better placed on a Flying Lotus single than on the Stones Throw producer’s album. Last but not least, “Keebler Elf Forest” is an exercise in creative wackiness, conjuring kush-driven images of mythical creatures attempting to bring the Hip Hop ruckus, Keebler style.

Overall, Madlib manages to make smooth, sample-based Hip Hop joints that are abstract but also retain the hardcore essence of Rap by incorporating talented emcees that aren’t afraid to spit that “real shit”. Even though some of the short instrumental pieces are quite unnecessary, Madlib Medicine Show #1: Low Budget Hi Fi Music is definitely a keeper and is a sonic testament to the Oxnard musician’s magical ability to make tripped-out beats that satisfy both the weed head and the hardcore B-Boy/Girl in you.


  • edk

    dam good sp303 and a sick mind i nooooo

  • MP

    I like this, but I don't think it's a 4 star album. I would say 3.5/5. I'm kinda sick of Madlib putting so many skits on his albums. It breaks up the cohesiveness of the albums. "OJ Simpson" was the last straw for me. Madlib, please sober up just enough to start making BEATS again & not albums full of skits with songs in between them...THANKS!

  • Donovan Kelleher

    where can i get this? is it a mixtape or album?

  • Mr. Tibbs

    This medicine show ride has been amazing. Madlib has delivered 11 straight albums of awesomeness and each album has been diverse in its own right(the jazz and brazil ones being my favorite). This album is a mixtape but the beats and flos are really good, no complaints. Madlib is the G.O.A.T along side J. Dilla(Rip) and MF Doom well heres a list. 1.Madlib 2.MF Doom 3.J. Dilla 4.Pete Rock 5.Premier 6.Kanye West 7.9th Wonder 8.Strong Arm Steady Any objections?

    • Mr Tibbs

      OK, yeah I did forget RZA, and Dre my bad. I was thinking more backpack than westcoast but then again everybody loved Dre and the whole Deathrow movement. And Wu is still pretty strong too. Great download by the way Anonymous!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I like your list! Pretty much covers it...I would replace Strong Arm Steady w/ Rza...and Dre should be there. Black Milk is killing shit too from Detroit!!!! "The Sleptons" (Keenan Cunnin & AudioLogical) LP is now available for free download...DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TheRapBox

    I thought you guys were late with the Celph titled release.. but this Madlib album has been out for months.. Really.. Good album, and decent review... But I Would really like to witness your picking process... Because you will review this, games mix-tape, and rihanas album.. but not albums like Onry Ozborne's new one, nor the new Passionate MC album... Very odd choices, you promote non hip hop, mix-tapes, and instrumental albums.. but not raw real hip hop that requires some promotion?

  • 1 real motherfucker


  • Aaron Shimer

    If you like Madlib's Alkaholiks work and didn't like his OJ Simpson collab, then check out his collab with Talib Kweli: LIBERATION You won't be sorry.

  • supderduper

    medicine show #11, not #1 as was put on the first paragraph.

  • Rick

    hmmm, has anyone heard this? I havent felt a Madlib beats in YEARS!!!!! If this is anything like the early 2000's Otis, then I'll be buying. ...some of my favorite madlib joints Alkaholiks - Turn tha Party out Alkaholiks - killin' it feat Xzibit Alkaholiks - WLIX Lootpack - Weeded RMX Quasi- Microphone Mathematics Man, Lib was on a tear in the early 2000's

    • sincerejk

      those were all early-mid 90's tracks, except maybe the quas joint. i agree that he was on a tear in the early '00s though. i haven't heard much recently that i've enjoyed as much as the jaylib album

  • Prick James

    OJ Simpson was disappointing [& it had too many skits]. Plus that Ode to the Ghetto remix album was trash; so its good to know 'lib has the attention span to still make ONE hot hip-hop album a year [eg. "Search for Stoney Jackson"]

  • 718rob

    Why are dope albums like this un-promoted? All Stones Throw seems to care about is wack-ass Mayer Hawthorne anymore.

    • MP

      The reason why Stones Throw doesn't is because they rarely ever pay for sample clearances. It's easier to be underground, So that way, They can get away with it.

  • junMaf*ckn

    Madlib been amazing since his Quasimoto stuff. Copped the LP from JUST for the jaylib track. AND they mixed Hennessey in with the paint for the artwork. How real is THAT? Can we get that Madvillain 2 album BEFORE Detox PLEASE??

  • SpaceNuggetOne

    A real Classic. Contains a lot of ill cuts and beats that bring the listener back to the times of jaylib and Guilty Simpson. I bought this cd from and i suggest everyone does the same.

  • SirCatalyst

    I agree with most of the review except for one statement, "...the proliferation of skits and short snippets keep this from being a damn near-perfect album." Madlib has ALWAYS mixed these types of spaced out obscure skits and shorts on all of albums he mixes. That is actually one of the reasons I always dig his stuff. It's a different and definitely acquired taste, but I don't think it's fair to knock him for it when it's his thing (see Madvillainy & MED's "Push Comes To Shove" as examples).

  • roboi2w3

    madlib has always been dope. plus, cover art of the year