The producer, who teamed up with DOOM as Madvillain on 2004’s critically acclaimed collaborative project ‘Madvillainy’, told NPR that he learned of the rapper’s death the same way as the rest of the world – via social media on December 31 last year.
“His family’s very private, so they probably didn’t know how to approach that one. I still can’t believe that he died. That’s weird,” he said.
The producer also said he had occasionally been in touch with DOOM – real name Daniel Dumile – over the years.
“We talked like once or twice a year, but that’s how it’s always been. We talked last year and everything seemed fine… It was mostly me sending him beats, he rarely sent me stuff. But yeah we checked in, whether it was music or not, talking about our kids or whatever.”
Dumile’s death in October 2020 was confirmed on New Year’s Eve through a statement by his family on social media, prompting an outpouring of tributes from the music world.
Earlier this month, Peanut Butter Wolf, who released ‘Madvillainy’ via his label Stones Throw, said that a sequel to the collaborative project was on the way at the time of the rapper’s death.
“DOOM was always telling me ‘It’s 85% done, it’s 85% done.’ That was the magic number,” Wolf said on the Juan Ep is Dead podcast.
He went on to recall how DOOM initially sent him 11 tracks for the project in 2009, but wanted to hold off on releasing the project until “a few more songs” were finished. He also added that, while he’s unsure if tracks from the project will see the light of day, he has the blessing of DOOM’s family should he choose to release them.
The rest of Madlib’s new interview with NPR is primarily focused on Madlib’s new album ‘Sound Ancestors’, which arrived today (January 29). The album, recorded over several years in LA, was edited, mastered and arranged by Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet.
“When we heard about [DOOM’s passing], it was all completely shocking,” Hebden says during the interview.
“Like maybe we just need to put everything on pause for a bit. But maybe [releasing Sound Ancestors] could be quite a positive thing to happen in the middle of it. You know, Dilla’s gone, DOOM’s gone, but Otis [Madlib] is hanging in there, going strong and not giving up.
“He’s actually got this new album coming out and continuing to keep the spirit of all that music, that whole style where the three of them do feel like this sort of magical superpowered trinity.”