Declaime & Madlib Compile the 3rd Installment of the “In the Beginning” Series (Album Review)
This is the 14th full-length album from Oxnard veteran Declaime. Debuting on “WLIX” off Tha Alkaholiks’ sophomore album Coast II Coast in 1995, it wouldn’t be until 2001 when Dudley Perkins started putting out albums under his own name by dropping Andsoitisaid. But coming fresh off LMD’s long-awaited debut Flying High last summer, he’s linking back up with Madlib for the 3rd installment in the ongoing In the Beginning series where the 2 dig up some of their earliest & previously unreleased work together.
“Ill Minded” is a bit of a hazy opener with Declaime talking about verbally abusing those who dare step up to him whereas “Laff Now Cry Later” goes into more boom bap turf advising people that your day will come sooner or later. The cassette demo version of the “Andsoitisaid” title track is interesting to hear considering the version we got 8 years later has a different beat & is a little bit longer just before Roc C tags along for the lo-fi “Come with the Ill Grammar” advising to have some dope ass syntax when speaking to them.
The remix of “Why Do We Go Out Like That?” is cool even though I personally prefer the version we have on the Lootpack’s rarities compilation The Lost Tapes leading into “Too Much Clout” returning to the boom bap flexing his lyrical prowess. God’s Gift’s verse on the battle rap-themed “12th Floor” is just ok with the sounds of ocean waves in the beat gives it a bit of a calm atmosphere prior to the raw sounding “Next Episode” with Christopher McCray showing y’all how they move it. “Ass Will Get Dropped” with M.E.D. finds both Oxnard emcees letting y’all know what’ll happen whenever C.D.P. pulls up to your spot over a mellow instrumental & prior to the outro beat skit, we’re treated to the original version of “Rollem Right” off Dudley’s debut EP Illmindmuzik as the official closer.
If you’ve been keeping up with the In the Beginning series, you should already know what you’re gonna be getting yourself into & I don’t mean that in a bad way because all 3 installments thus far are must-listens for any hardcore Madlib fan. His production pulls from funk, jazz, soul & psychedelia with Declaime continuing to pay homage to the city that he came from by further presenting his early days on the mic. However, one of the biggest criticisms I have is that I feel that the intros to 6 of the 11 actual songs we get here are kind of annoying especially since the track listing is prominently intro & song back to back.