Label: Stones Throw

MF DOOM is one of the best MCs to get saddled with mediocre producers (see his albums as Viktor Vaughn). When he corrected this by joining forces with Madlib for the Madvillain record, the results were perfect. The story goes that the deadpan spitter and the perpetually-blunted beatsmith would work for hours in the recording studio without speaking. Because they didn't have to.

Like true comic book characters, they communicated telepathically (or something suitably next-level) to create an album of endless richness and variety. Like Wire's Pink Flag, the tracks whiz by in micro-bursts of creativity, samples culled from only the dankest of mildewed basements, verses that treat genre conventions like a lab rat to be prodded and infected with some horrible sickness. Blink and you'll miss it.