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Tuesday, May 06 2008 | 00:00

263Though they were together since high school, the Lootpack – Madlib, Wildchild and DJ Romes – first made their presence known in 1994 when the group’s beat conductor, Madlib, produced “Mary Jane,” a Tha Alkaholiks 12”. Later that year, Lootpack’s lyrical skills were heard on the song “Turn The Party Out” on the Alkaholiks’ debut LP “21 And Over,” and “WLIX” from the Liks’ second LP.

The positive feedback from these collaborations led to the Lootpack’s own EP “Ill Psych Move” on Crate Digger’s Palace Records in 1996, a venture funded by Madlib’s father, soul-crooner Otis Jackson Sr.

It was through this poorly-distributed 12″ that the group caught the attention of Stones Throw Records’ founder Peanut Butter Wolf, who heard the record on college radio and hunted the group down. The group eventually signed for Stones Throw, paving the way for the release of 1999’s “Soundpieces: Da Antidote” CD/LP.

Lootpack has not recorded a direct follow-up to “Soundpieces”, but the three core members continue to work together as they spread their wings. Madlib has demonstrated his versatility as a producer and hip hop visionary, crafting concept-albums such as Quasimoto’s “The Unseen”, Yesterdays New Quintet’s “Angles Without Edges”, and Madvillain’s “Madvillainy”. DJ Romes released “Hamburger Hater Breaks” record with Stones Throw in 2001. Wildchild’s own “Secondary Protocol” (2003) with all Lootpack members and extended family on board, is the closest thing to a second Lootpack album.

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