Madlib hasn't slept in three days. More than 20 years into his career, the veteran producer still gets so excited by making beats that he often finds himself staying up for days at a time, digging for perfect loops.
"It's kind of like meditation, how people do yoga and all that type of stuff," he says. "I zone out, and it be a day later, you know what I mean? Really, it's weird. I think it's spirits or something."
Fighting through sleep deprivation and momentarily ignoring a long-standing aversion to media opportunities, Madlib is seated for a rare interview inside the Rappcats record store in Los Angeles. He's here to discuss the making of his 2019 collaborative album with Freddie Gibbs, Bandana, which earned him the distinction as Complex’s Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive in 2019.