With the arrival of his new Four Tet-assisted Sound Ancestors album today (29 January), Madlib spoke about the album and the passing of MF DOOM in a new interview with NPR.

MF DOOM's death was confirmed on New Year's Eve via a post shared by his wife Jasmine Dumile. When asked if he knew about DOOM's passing, Madlib replied, "No. I found out when everybody else did, on social media. His family's very private, so they probably didn't know how to approach that one. I still can't believe that he died. That's weird."

On how much they had been in touch, Madlib said, "We talked like once or twice a year, but that's how it's always been. We talked last year and everything seemed fine."

NPR also asked Madlib what their conversations consisted of. Madlib responded, "It was mostly me sending him beats, he rarely sent me stuff. But yeah we checked in, whether it was music or not, talking about our kids or whatever."

Madlib and MF DOOM collaborated under the Madvillain pseudonym, and released their critically acclaimed debut album Madvillainy in 2004, before going on to release "Papermill" in 2010 and "Avalanche" in 2016.

Earlier this month during an episode of the Juan Ep is Dead podcast, Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf discussed MF DOOM and the progress he was making on the second Madvillainy album, "And Madvillain 2, you know, DOOM was always telling me 'ah, I'm 85% done, 85%', that was always the magic number." Peanut Butter Wolf also said, "He basically sent us 11 tracks in 2009, and I was ready to, you know, try to just like finish it up at that point, and it was always just like 'just wait for a few more songs, wait for a few more songs', and then tracks would start being on other albums."

Visit npr.org to read the full Madlib interview. Madlib's Sound Ancestors album is out now on Madlib Invazion.