The news of new Quasimoto material sent the internet into a tizzy just a few weeks ago. All it took was the single photo of a test pressing with “Quasimoto – Yessir Whatever” written on it to spark rumors of a full album coming from Madlib’s best alter-ego. But looking back, why wouldn’t it? Yeah, Madlib has a discography large enough to crush entire record labels, plus with the exhaustive Medicine Show series it’s not like there has been a lack of creative output from him recently. The excitement for this new material stems solely from how large of an impact his work as Quasimoto about a decade ago really had on hip-hop listeners.
Things progressed and it turned out that Yessir Whatever wasn’t the next full studio album, instead a 12-track collection of rarities and unreleased tracks. It’s hard to not get disappointed when the news of an album fell flat, but at the same time it’s just as easy to forget that feeling when Madlib’s collection of loosies is still one of the best hip-hop releases of the year.
If The Unseen is the fully formed Quasimoto narrative, Yessir Whatever is like looking at scrapped pieces from the storyboard. A few of these tracks, including “Broad Factor” and cuts from the Astronaut EP, existed pressings before this release, but collected alongside others help to create a fascinating look inside one of hip-hop’s most creative minds.
Maybe it’s that nostalgic rush from the extra crisp drums on “Catchin’ The Vibe”, or maybe it’s that sample flip on ”Astronaut”. Then again maybe it’s the way your head involuntarily nods on “Am I Confused”. Somewhere along the line though it becomes clear that even out of the larger Quasimoto narrative, most, if not all of these tracks are fantastic. Even though technically a compilation, especially one containing material from over a 12-year period, it falls together as a remarkably cohesive listen. The Quasimoto character and sound is strong enough to bind together thirty minutes of material regardless of the decade that stands between it.
Madlib isn’t the kind of artist to hold back on releasing music. Between his own albums, production credits, alter egos, collaborations, and mixes, chances are even for the die-hard stans something has fallen through the cracks. This isn’t the same with Quasimoto material. With only two studio albums and a choice selection of singles here and there, everything Madlib has put to wax as the blunted deviant feels special.
There have always been rumors that Madlib was sitting on albums worth of unreleased Quasimoto material. If there is the long rumored third album forthcoming and Yessir Whatever is filled with tracks that didn’t make the cut, then we’re sure in for a treat when it does come. Even if that’s not the case, this compilation still stands as a much-welcomed peek into the life of the one and only Lord Quas.