10 Things You Didn’t Know about Madlib


Madlib whose official name is Otis Jackson Jr. was born on October 24, 1973. Madlib is an American DJ, rapper, MC, and music producer. Some of the genres of music that he has been associated with include Hip hop, instrumental hip hop, soul, jazz fusion, funk, electronic jazz. Over the years, he has become of the most celebrated icons in hip hop, since his emergence in the music industry in the early ‘90s. Below is a list of 10 things that you probably did not know about Madlib.

10. He comes from a family of musicians

Madlib’s father Otis Jackson Sr. was a jazz and blues musician while his mother, Sinesca, used to play the guitar and write songs. She was also a pianist. His uncle, Jon Faddis, was a jazz trumpeter, while Madlib was growing up. As such, he grew up being surrounded by music and learnt the art of music creation at a young age. Madlib’s mother wrote also all his father’s music.

9. Madlib developed his Love for Music from his Father

While Madlib was born and raised in a family that was heavily invested in the music industry, he primarily developed his love for music from his father. In an interview conducted in 2016, during the RBMA Festival in New York, Madlib stated that his father always took him to the studio since he was born. He also stated that his father always allowed him to mess with the music instrument controls at the studio, which helped him learn how to produce music.

8. He is a Multi-instrumentalist

Madlib plays different musical instruments. He credited his love for music and his ability to play different musical instruments to his upbringing. In the RBMA 2016 Festival interview, Madlib stated that his parents used to buy him all sorts of musical equipment and he eventually learned to use most of them. Going with his father to the studio also exposed him to numerous musical instruments that he would try to play, while his father was working on his music.

7. He Considers Searching for New Beats as a Daunting Task

While Madlib’s has an intense love for creating music, he considers the task of searching for new beats as being quite overwhelming and tiring. According to him, the search for new beats entails checking record stores for albums or second-hand music vinyl, then spending hours of deep listening to the albums. Despite the tiring nature of the job, the hours he spends looking for new beats also offers him a sense of peace as he shuts off the world and focuses on his work.

6. He Got in trouble with his Father while Messing with his Father’s Musical Equipment

Madlib once got in trouble with his father, while messing with his father’s styluses. He used to put little pins under the styluses so that he could listen to some of the records that his father had in the house. He would use little pins instead of record player needles because he was interested in listening to the music without necessarily using the speakers. The records eventually got ruined.

5. His Collaboration with Freddie Gibbs introduced him to a New Audience

One of Madlib’s recent projects has been his collaboration with Freddie Gibbs. Working with Freddie Gibbs introduced him to a new audience. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Madlib stated that Freddie Gibbs’s style of rap was mostly trap music linked with gangster and hood stuff. Madlib also stated that while he also wrote and focused on trap music, his style was significantly different from Freddie Gibbs’s style. Additionally, he stated that while working with Freddie Gibbs, he treated the project as Compton’s Most Wanted by incorporated raw loops and story-telling styles into the music.

4. His Brother “Oh No,” birth Name is Michael Jackson

Madlib’s has a younger brother, who is also an American rapper and record producer. His brother’s birth name is Michael Woodrow Jackson. Having been raised in a family that was heavily influenced by music and parents that were in the music industry, his brother’s birth name seemed to be a wordplay linked to the famous musician Michael Jackson and Madlib’s family name Jackson.

3. Had a Special Connection with MF Doom

Before the death of MF Doom, Madlib and MF Doom had a special musical connection. Madlib and MF Doom had collaborated in creating the hip-hop masterpiece, Madvillainy, in 2004. In an interview with Piotr Orlov for NPR Music, Madlib revealed that he had a mystical musical connection with MF Doom and often sent him beats for review. They also talked about their children and other aspects of their lives. He admitted that the death of MF Doom came as a shock to him.

2. The Embryo Band were his Idols

Embryo was a band based in Munich, Germany. The band started producing music in 1969. Madlib considers the members of the band as his idols. He got to spend some time with them and even got 10 hours of music recorded with the band. During the time he was hanging out with the band in Germany, he experimented with different instruments and learned about the experiences that the band had gone through in the music industry.

1. Named Complex’s Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive in 2019

In 2019, Complex Entertainment media and news named Madlib the best hip-hop producer alive. In an interview with Complex News that was conducted in February, 2020, Madlib expressed his gratitude for being recognized for his work. The news came as a shock to him because most of his work was mainly underground and he did not realize he had made such a great impact in the music world.


Madlib is one of the biggest names in rap music production. His recognition by Complex Entertainment as being the best hip-hop producer in 2016 contributed to his increased popularity in the hip-hop industry. Generally, Madlib is a well-rounded producer who is committed to his work.

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