Legendary beatmaker Madlib has released a vibrant new single, “Hopprock”.
Madlib collaborated with British electronic musician Four Tet on "Hopprock". The song blends Madlib’s jazzy hip hop production with Four Tet’s textural electronic music style, the latest in a long list of successful collaborations from Madlib. Most famously, he collaborated with the recently deceased MF Doom on the universally acclaimed album Madvillainy. He has also created two fantastic albums with rapper Freddie Gibbs, Piñata and Bandana. Madlib seems to thrive off collaboration, and this latest track is a great example of how smoothly his collaborations come together.
“Hopprock” is a cathartic, eclectic blend of hip hop, electronic, jazz, and world music. The introduction features a mbira, which is an instrument that originates in Zimbabwe, and is also known as the thumb piano. The mbira plays gently over a rich, bittersweet string section. The sonic combination created by the mbira and the strings is haunting. Chimes join in to create an ethereal effect. Then, powerful, punchy drums drop and glitchy vocals are sampled to accent them. Plucky guitar lines and a warm bass groove round out the rhythm of the song. The production on "Hopprock" sounds organic and raw, adding to the cathartic feel of the song.
Overall, Madlib and Four Tet's latest song showcases both of their eclectic styles fusing together neatly. “Hopprock” is a great example of Madlib’s jazzy hip hop fusion style and Four Tet’s textural, glitchy production motifs. Moreover, the song’s use of world music adds layers sonically. “Hopprock” is a cathartic listening experience worthy of re-visiting.