Madlib x Meyhem Lauren x DJ Muggs

What a guilty pleasure it is having Queens emcee Meyhem Lauren flow all over the production of such esteemed producers in Madlib and DJ Muggs! ‘Champagne For Breakfast‘ is the latest release from Lauren and another top tier installment for an artist that has quite the discography of raw, high quality hip hop. Revisiting the chemistry that was evident on previous collaborations with both artists, this album is really well crafted. We get 15 tracks that range anywhere from one minute to five minutes, and is structured to build from the delicate piano keys that kick things off on the intro, to the funky, blaxploitation themed finale. And with only two features, this certainly feels like a true collaboration between incredible artists that have immense respect for each other and their craft.

Hip hop heads have been blessed with two tracks in the lead up to this release, ‘Wild Salmon‘ and ‘Fresh Out The Water‘ and both tracks have been brilliant in their own way – this in-your-face, more traditional boom bap anthem (Fresh Out The Water) and the soul / funk influenced ‘Wild Salmon‘. Both tracks have an inspired Meyhem at the forefront, bringing the bars with an equal balance of bravado and bullish confidence, and the rest of the album continues in a similar manner. The blending of two iconic beatsmiths in Madlib and Muggs is seamless, with this project sounding unique and varied from any of the other projects they have individually delivered for Lauren, and more robust than his latest offering with Daringer.

After we get an low key intro with the key-driven ‘Quicksand‘, it’s straight into the previously released single ‘Fresh Out The Water‘ which is a dusty head nodder with haunting vocal samples and high-energy delivery from Meyhem as he spits that confidence few can back up. Following on from this, is a really purposeful, drum-focused banger ‘Szechuan Capital‘ featuring Action Bronson. The keys dance delightfully in the background, filling the void beautifully between the verbals of Bronson and Lauren and the drums. The change when Action comes in, is epic and is some kind of theme music, it’s like a superhero just entered the track and we’re here for it!

Midnight Silk‘ is a stripped back joint that has some of that early Cypress Hill / Ghostface Killah kind of vibe, before once again giving us a change of direction midway through the track then ‘Sunday Driving‘ uses heavier percussion to bring a darker energy to the fray, and Meyhem delivers his street narrative with a serious synergy between lyrics and lifestyle. The menacing production of ‘Big Money‘ is my kind of jam, it cuts through the speakers and gets the head nodding, while the complex layers that enter and leave the track make it such an interesting and entertaining listen. ‘Evolution‘ dials the energy back a little, but there is some seriously focused flow on this one, and the score underpinning the street poetry is robust and ruggedly polished.

The energy on ‘Dom vs Cris‘ is 90’s block party-esque! The vibe of this track is so damn funky that it brings a smile to your face as soon as the beat hits, and Meyhem is in the pocket here with a faster but surgical delivery on the mic. ‘Holographic Rhetoric‘ takes yet another turn, this time heading back to the stripped back, lo-fi, minimalist production that focuses strictly on the mic to bring the noise, and understated vocal soul samples filtering through the background, then ‘Pop Clink Fizz’ is a quick little audio ditty to cleanse the palate for the remainder of the record.

OD Wilson‘ is a really ominous sounding number and it fits the street narrative that Meyhem Lauren brings to the booth with bars such as “cover you in plastic like a couch in a Carribean house” then ‘African Pompano‘ vibes at a deeper level sonically with well-placed sticks and a soundtrack that is hella funky! Another little instrumental interlude with ‘Triple M Airlines‘ is the calm before the grimey and rugged ‘One of Them Ones’ commands your attention with its edgy, synth / string sound which Meyhem demolishes with his street corner content. Finally, we close things out with the previously heard and mentioned ‘Wild Salmon‘ which is funky, soulful and leaves a fresh audio aftertaste in the eardrums.

Bangers: Big Money, Wild Salmon, Midnight Silk, Dom vs Cris, OD Wilson.

Score: 9.5 / 10. Muggs and Madlib deliver one of the illest produced albums of the year. This has everything, a caucophany of sounds and styles but a cohesion that you can’t manufacture, it’s inherent in the production process when you enlist such incredeible producers to help make music. Lyrically Meyhem Lauren is right at home, balancing his brash, bravado rhymes with cleverly crafted bars and witty wordplay. The three of them come together like a modern day ‘mini-Wu’ to drop easily one of the most intriguing projects of the year, and no doubt one of the bests. This is fresh, it’s inspired and it deserves a LOT of attention from hip hop heads around the world.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!

One thought on “REVIEW | Madlib x Meyhem Lauren x DJ Muggs – Champagne For Breakfast”
  1. Impressive review of what initial impressions indicate is an incredible album!

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