History of Lord Quas

  • Jeff Jank
  • Stones Throw
  • January 25, 2009

On the eve of the release of the Quasimoto figure by Kidrobot, a quick look back at the history of Lord Quas...

Madlib has told the story a few times in interviews about how he created Quasimoto, aided by some chemicals, as someone to rap on his beats for his own private listening while living in Oxnard, CA, in the 90's. Peanut Butter Wolf heard some of these tapes and eventually convinced Madlib to release them as The Unseen (2000), an incredible album which brought Madlib his first widespread recognition.

The visual character of Quasimoto – a.k.a. Lord Quas – developed separately. One of Quasimoto's first appearances on a record was Lootpack's “Whenimondamic”. In the video, Wildchild rapped the lines from Quasimoto made up to look something like the Draags from the 1973 animated film La Planète Sauvage. When I met Madlib in 1998 I was told that he watched this movie constantly and had even made his own private soundtrack. References to La Planète Sauvage pop up again and again in Quasimoto music and artwork.

The Quas character we know today was first drawn by DJ Design (credited as Keith Beats) for Quasimoto's “Microphone Mathematics” single. I adapted this character for the artwork inside The Unseen CD and subsequent singles. At the time, Quasimoto was literally suppose to be “unseen” - he’s the semi-invisible figure sitting in the car seat on the cover of The Unseen. This little furry character with the snout was just meant to represent the lyrics for the song “Bad Character”. As the album took off and we used the character on a t-shirt, the public began to refer to this character as Quasimoto himself. We just went along with it. Madlib apparently sees him this way now too, as Quasimoto refers to himself, “yea, I got a brick,” in the lyrics for his second album.

We've often been asked, what is he, an alien? An anteater? Take-off on Alf or the video game Q-Bert? Definitely none of the above. The answer is we're still figuring it out ... and still waiting on Madlib's next Quasimoto album.

LINKS
www.stonesthrow.com/quasimoto
www.rappcats.com

DISCOGRAPHY
Quasimoto “Hittin’ Hooks” 7-inch (1999)
Quasimoto “Microphone Mathematics” 12-inch single (1999)
Quasimoto “Come on Feet” 12-inch single (2000)
Quasimoto The Unseen Album (2000)
Quasimoto “Basic Instinct” 12-inch single (2000)
Quasimoto “Astronaut” 12-inch single (2002)
Quasimoto “Rappcats” 12-inch single (2004)
Quasimoto The Further Adventures of Lord Quas Album (2005)
Quasimoto “The Front” 7-inch (2005)

GUEST APPEARANCES
Peanut Butter Wolf - “Styles, Crews, Flows, Beats” 12-inch single (1998)
Lootpack - “Answers”, “20 Questions” from Soundpieces: Da Antidote (1999)
DJ Design “Sparkdala” 12-inch single (2001)
Jaylib - “The Red”, “React” from Champion Sound (2003)
Madvillain - “America's Most Blunted”, “Shadows of Tomorrow” from Madvillainy (2004)

IMAGES: QUASIMOTO, 1999-PRESENT
1 - “Whenimondamic” video
2 - “Microphone Mathematics” 12-inch cover (Keith Beats)
3 - From The Unseen CD booklet (Jeff Jank)
4 - From The Unseen CD booklet (Jeff Jank)
5 - “Bus Ride” 12-inch cover, now out-of-print (Jeff Jank)
6 - From The Further Adventures of Lord Quas CD booklet (Jeff Jank)
7 - RE-UP Magazine cover, 2005 (Jeff Jank)
8 - “Bullyshit” video (James Reitano)
9 - Quasimoto graffiti in Israel circa 2007 (Dase)
10 - Quasimoto graffiti in Los Angeles circa 2007 (Aklaim)
11 - Kid Robot's Lord Quas, 2009