Mad beat-drama here, combining the killer skills of Madlib and J Dilla to form Jaylib! The duo trade beat-making and rap-rhyming skills over the course of the album, which was first released in 2003. Needless to say, each excel in both practices. Champion Sound is a double LP, reissued on the Stones Throw label.
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8/10 Tom Customer review, 23rd May 2018
Ask an underground hip hop fan to name their favourite producers and I'd be amazed if J Dilla and Madlib's names didn't come up. They're both master beatmakers and have unique styles that combine obscure samples with very human-feeling drum beats, producing records that have a lot of soul and originality.
Champion Sound was apparently made by proxy - each producer sent the other a CD with beats on it and the other would rap directly over the beats. That's just two channels - one with the beat, one with the vocal. This approach gives the record a very raw sound which is exactly the rough and ready style that both producers liked. Neither producer is a stellar rapper (by their own admission) but with beats like "McNasty Filth", "The Red", "Champion Sound", "The Official" and "Raw Shit" (the latter of which features Talib Kweli) they could have spit anything and it still would have sounded good.
With so much of his own work being shelved for mysterious reasons while he was still alive, this was a true joy when it came out and remains one of J Dilla's best records.
8/10 Jack Customer review, 14th February 2018
This album is the kind of collaboration that is more of a competition, featuring both producers trying to outdo each other with loud, bass heavy, head bobbing, all-out dope beats. Jay Dilla is known for his soulful Detroit bounce, and Madlib (here, at least) employs a kind of wobbly, throbbing, jazz sound. They are both going for similar things in production, sometimes going the far east route, sometimes taking jazz loops or mangled soul loops, but usually relying on the thumping drum tracks instead of rich musical loops.
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