It’s a milestone that resonates deeply within the hearts of hip-hop heads and aficionadas alike. Nearly twenty years after its initial release, the iconic collaboration between the masked author MF DOOM and beatsmith extraordinaire Madlib, known as “Madvillainy,” has achieved a monumental feat: gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This certification, bestowed upon the album almost exactly two decades after its debut on March 22, 2004, marks a testament to the enduring legacy of an album that has consistently captivated audiences since its inception.

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Initially released under the banner of Stones Throw Records, “Madvillainy” has now ascended to the echelons of gold status, denoting sales surpassing a remarkable half-million copies. Reflecting on the creation of “Madvillainy,” on Complex Music’s Instagram, Peanut Butter Wolf, the founder of Stones Throw Records, reminisces on the album’s humble beginnings. He reveals the intimate process behind its creation, recounting how Madlib meticulously crafted the beats within the confines of his home, renamed The Bomb Shelter.

“This was an album where Madlib chose to record the beats in my basement that we called The Bomb Shelter (it was a literally a concrete bomb shelter),” he wrote.


Meanwhile, MF DOOM lent his lyricism to the project, recording vocals in a makeshift studio within Wolf’s own home.

“DOOM recorded his vocals in my bedroom down the hall where we also had @ecoleye do a photo shoot that became the album cover–It’s the first (and only) album on my 28-year-old label to go gold.”

It’s a tale of artistic camaraderie and ingenuity, where creative sparks ignited within the confines of DIY recording spaces.

The album’s impact transcended its underground origins, as evidenced by Wolf’s recollection of the LA release party held at The Fonda. Fearing a lackluster turnout, the lineup was stacked with luminaries such as J Dilla and Common, alongside the enigmatic figure of MF DOOM himself. Despite initial trepidation, the event served as a testament to the album’s burgeoning influence, drawing in crowds eager to experience the magic of this future classic.

“We did a few more shows that month with the same lineup in a few major markets to small but very excited crowds.”

On the twentieth anniversary of the album’s release, the Beat Konducta, Madlib paid homage to his late collaborator, MF DOOM, with a heartfelt tribute shared on social media.

“20 years. RIP to the Villain.”

Accompanied by a clip from the “All Caps” video, which yielded a timeless masterpiece.

Beyond its commercial success, “Madvillainy” continues to thrive in the digital age, amassing an impressive array of streams on platforms like Spotify. The album’s popularity has surged in recent years, with an average annual increase of 73% since Spotify’s inception. This surge culminated in a remarkable 241% spike in streams in 2021, following the tragic passing of MF DOOM, underscoring the profound impact of his artistic legacy.

With over 803 million all-time streams on Spotify and appearances on over 8 millions playlists, “Madvillainy” stands as a testament to the enduring power of artistic collaboration and DOOM’s uncompromising creativity.

Its journey from the confines of a basement studio to the halls of gold certification is a testament to the indelible mark it has left on the landscape of hip-hop and music as a whole. As fans continue to revisit “Madvillainy” the collaboration remains a beacon of innovation, originality, and timeless resonance in an ever-evolving musical landscape.


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Lifestyle Editor

Hip Hop Historian. I talk it 'cause I lived it.

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