Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Blu & Exile, and Nocando
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Blu & Exile, and Nocando take the stage as the fifth—and free!—installment of Through the Mic brings together rappers, DJs, and producers.
Describing himself as "a DJ first, producer second, and MC last," Madlib is one of the many aliases of Oxnard-native Otis Jackson Jr., who has become one of the most celebrated, prolific, and eclectic artists in hip hop. The unique sound and feel of Madlib's work (created without computers, using old-school recording and sampling gear) has made him a valued collaborator with a number of leading hip-hop performers and a celebrated figure in the underground rap community.
Freddie Gibbs—the Gary, Indiana–bred, L.A.-based rapper—stretches lyrics over Madlib's lush musical tapestry. Pitchfork declares, "it's tough to talk about Gibbs' rapping without lapsing into the sort of breathless technical praise that guitar magazines use when they talk about Eddie Van Halen or something, but not too many people can rap the way Gibbs can."
Blu, is a rapper and producer from Los Angeles who has become one of the most proflic in the area. Following the major success of his 2007 debut album, Below the Heavens, Blu was named HipHop DX's "Rookie of the Year." The album also marked Blu's first collaboration with another L.A. product, Exile. The DJ/producer/rapper cites Madlib as an influence when crafting his highly sought-after beats.
The L.A. underground has many voices, but none ring truer than that of Nocando. Nocando brings fresh rhymes week after week at the world-renowned club night Low End Theory, where he is the resident host, as well as to a variety of other venues around the West Coast.