Initial impressions may lead you to believe that Lord Quas is a, slightly cutesy, cartoon character. Don’t be fooled though. Let your eyes wander further down his, sketchily illustrated, form. Is that a brick he’s holding? Yep. Why’s he holding a brick? He sure ain’t going to help you with your extension. Remember, Lord Quas IS the bad character.
Like many of us, I first encountered Lord Quas on 2000’s The Unseen. I’m not going to lie. I did not like that album when I bought it. I found it bitty, scratchy, disjointed and, let’s be frank, bat-shit crazy. Also, what the frig was up with the helium voice? I still find it all of those things it’s just that they have become the reasons that I love it (I now love the voice). I’d also like to add that it’s joyfully mischievous in its musicality and lyricism.
I’m by no means a Qusimoto completist. I bought The Further Adventures of Lord Quas, on vinyl, days before my new mac arrived and my decks got packed away. I never really listened to it and didn’t feel like the absence had left any kind of hole in my life. Until now, that is.
Yessir Whatever comprises rare and unreleased gems from the last twelve years of Lord Quas. Normally you might assume that this kind of collection is the sole province of the die hards, the fanatics and the true Quas devotees. I also assumed that that was what it was. Well, you and I were wrong. What Yessir Whatever actually is is the strongest argument that we should all be Quasimoto devotees.
Right from the off this album means to make you know what you’ve been missing. ‘Broad Factor’ is a booming, head-nodding slice of Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson sampling ode to pretty girls. Then without missing a beat the Roy Ayers sampling ‘Seasons Change’ washes over you like the Final Fantasy VII victory menu music took a whole bottle of soul pills and washed it down with a few cans of jazz. ‘Seasons Change’ ends with a substance dependency public information broadcast which leaves you wondering just where Madlib finds these things. He always finds these quirky gems. I love the jingle about “you with your grass mom and dad with their booze”. Genius.
The other standout tracks are ‘Astronaut’, ‘The Front’ and ‘LAX to JFK’. It seems churlish to single any track out for praise. There really isn’t any filler here.
It’s strange to think that these tracks have been recorded over a twelve year period and yet they all sound fresh as anything this will be released next month. Nothing sounds quite like a Madlib production but this album is still very definitely hip hop in its purest form. It’s quite an achievement to make music that sounds like little else that you’ve ever heard but still so fervently adheres to tenets of the doctrine. Of course we expect little else from Madlib and his brick-throwing sidekick.
If you’re not familiar with Lord Quas then this is as good a place to start as any. If you already know him then you’ll want to get this just to revel in his adventures again. I know that it has inspired me to finally dig out The Further Adventures of Lord Quas and dive right into it. Whoever you are and however much contact you’ve had with Lord Quas this album is for you. Pick up a Butterfly Snapple and get ready to talk a walk on the bizarre side.