Push Comes to Shove is like a great party, only Medaphoar is the guy who keeps talking and ruining the good vibes. Now known by the first three letters of his name (pronounced singly), MED has released his debut album, and he’s got some of the best Stones Throw-related producers behind him. Madlib, who can do no wrong recently, does no wrong — other than associating himself with someone far inferior on the mike.
Why does Madlib like this guy so much? Originally appearing on some Lootpack tracks and Quasimoto’s The Unseen, MED even got the sole guest appearance on Madlib’s Shades of Blue. That appearance was so unmemorable that I wouldn’t be surprised if you forgot about it. The emcee has a nearly grating voice, one step above noticeably generic, and his lyrics and flow are unmemorable and awkward. I’ve listened to Push Comes to Shove for a number of weeks now, and I could not tell you what a single song is about.
What I can tell you, though, is how great some of these beats are. In addition to Madlib, the album features equally strong production from Just Blaze, Oh No and J Dilla. “Serious” takes a soprano vocal and manipulates it just enough to let it ride the beat. The single, “Push,” features Jay Dee and is a great club track. But MED nearly ruins all of them. There are people out there that enjoy this type of voice, and I admittedly have difficulty getting past a voice I don’t like. But with so many great Madlib-produced records being released right now, I see no reason to waste time on a mediocre one. I would love to hear a great emcee laid out over these beats. For me, MED doesn’t qualify.