Scattered vocals over electronic bleeps and bips are often the recipe for musical cohesion. Here 8PRN crafts a melodic twister of a beat that comes and goes at a moments notice and always seems to want to float away. It grows and morphs, breaks down and blends with the vocals, by the end they are seemingly one.
Francesca Belcourt is the owner of this voice and she works with this beat like a pro. She sings a verse and then scats an assortment of sounds, all in line with the trickery 8PRN continues to lay down. While probably an affect placed upon her voice in post production, the hollowness present and relative lack of depth to her notes is haunting and bound to keep ringing in your head.
The visuals released for the tune capture their magic together, featuring 8PRN on the mpc like machine and Ms. Belcourt with headphones on singing her song. Sharp cuts and overlays provide a perfect graphic display of how the elements of the song intertwine so well.
Burn One has steadily been creating his own lane with the country rap tunes he crafts and the numerous up and coming artists he places his stamp of approval on. If you are unfamiliar, google the name and take a chance on anything you see he has been involved with. Chances are you won’t be disappointed.
Just in time for A3C his production partners Ricky Fontaine and Walt Live released their debut LP as iNDEED. While the band is credited as Ricky and Walt’s group, the project is really a demonstration of what exactly the 5 Points Music Gang is developing with Burn playing overall producer for the project and Professor laying down the bass lines present.
iNDEEDface is a heavy listen and an incredibly fun one. It’s filled with Ricky’s atmospheric guitar work, Walt’s funky keys and enough layering of it all with samples and other live instruments to keep you intrigued for multiple listens.
First playing the record while cooking breakfast it was an incredible sonic introduction to our time in Atlanta. Crafted in the backyard of a neighborhood not unlike Capitol Hill in Seattle or the Haight in the Bay, these guys create out of a house that feels as though it just breeds these grooves.
While this collective has been tightening up it’s chops together for over a year now, iNDEEDface is definitely the introduction to a larger, evolving sound in line with but deeper than what you might be familiar with from Burn. He told me Pink Floyd was a big influence on the creation of this record and while it’s firmly hiphop funk, if you know anything about what Pink Floyd did in the studio to finish their songs you will hear what he means in the level of detail paid to these extended jams.
Aside from just being instrumentalists, Ricky and Walt are also adept at singing and rapping, or more preferably a mixture of both, depending on how the song called them they say. They aren’t afraid to let their instruments speak for them however, venturing into uncharted territory for hiphop lacing songs with guitar and key solos, breakdowns and build ups that call to mind, well, nothing. After almost two decades a band has finally found a way to merge rap with instruments and not come off like a knock off of the Roots.
They dedicate their lyrics to that which they know. You will hear lots of cause for celebration and after hanging out in the studio with them for a few days it’s clear that their lives are fun filled and easy going just like the music they make. While it’s easy to dismiss raps about girls, drugs and hanging with the homies, the environment from which this music came appeared incredibly organic and honest. They aren’t presenting anything that isn’t them here.
They called in a host of guests, some people you will know if you are familiar with the team, some unknowns but probably not for much longer. Scotty has a tremendous verse on one of the more powerful and thoughtful songs in “Crown Royalty.” If the title calls to mind an old Cody Chesnutt tune wait till you hear how they utilized his work. Rittz is here, as is SL Jones. Richellecornbread pops up multiple times to lend some female vocals to the mix on an assortment of songs, some featuring exclusively her and others seeing her play the background to an emcee.
The title was inspired by the faces people tend to make in the studio in response to the music. Indeed, the music is face-melting fun. While far and away from what you probably expect from Atlanta, all I hear is Lyrnard Skynard mixed with Mannie Fresh. Keep it playing, let it sink in and marinate your mind. Before long you will be screaming yagger and yowzers too.
Southern hiphop will never be looked at the same by me again. After a week in Atlanta it’s clear to me exactly how much a part of the industry the city is and I feel like I have a slight understanding of the culture and community there that embraces this music I’m dedicated my life to learning about and documenting.
Upon my arrival there were two albums from southern-bred artists I downloaded and kept in rotation when at the condo. The first was from Big K.R.I.T.’s partner Big Sant. While K.R.I.T. hasn’t done the most to win me over, his production has always been inspiring and I can’t hate on his memorializing of classic music from the region he calls home.
Sant got the download from me strictly off the fact I was in the south, I didn’t really know what to expect aside from his booming voice I’ve gotten familiar with on previous releases from his partner. Thankfully he doesn’t attempt to rest on the reputation K.R.I.T. may have aided him in developing.
MFxOG is a beautiful mix of southern soul and grit with just the right amount of classic era boom bap to keep those of us who crave a little bit of what NYC delivered with this art form in their music. While K.R.I.T. does pop up here on three beats and one guest verse this is clearly a different individual and props to Big Sant for making sure to present his project as his voice.
Content wise he doesn’t stray too far away from what you might expect. He speaks to the haters often, he brags about how he carries himself and how serious he is in life. His money and grind are treated almost as after thoughts, as if he is so southern it’s just a given that he stays hustling and stacking that paper.
Of course there is the song about his Cadillac. Featuring a very laid back Kickdrums production “Cadillac Music” is the epitome of riding music seeing him flex about just how clean his ride is and his motivations for keeping it that way. This is an album for the whip.
Guests are minimal on this album, allowing Sant to show off his personality and the things that matter to him. He does call in a few favors – it is a rap album after all – and while only a few of the names might be familiar (K.RI.T., Phonte, Jackie Chain) they all handle their business properly.
“TCB” or “Taking Care of Business” sees Sant joined by Chain and Mookie Jones to express how they get their money and what’s going to happen to you if you fuck with said paper. The hook reminds me of a sentiment Shabazz expressed, although in a much more blunt fashion here as they just scream, “Words don’t mean a thing.”
“Rap Nigga” is the posse cut for the project and it’s a powerful jam featuring a dusty beat that feels restrained yet intense. Before the bars start, a voice is heard berating the south and Atlanta specifically. While Sant reps the crooked letter state, it’s a unification thing I suppose and he emerges onto the track proudly proclaiming he “raps nigga.” King Mez, Tito Lopez and Phonte fall through on the track as well, all keeping the lyrical level high and honest, repping for their roots and expressing their love for the “kings” of this hiphop shit. Just cause things move slower down south doesn’t mean they aren’t on the level.
Big Sant may have emerged as a hanger on, riding the coat tails of a larger, affiliated star, but he proves with MFxOG that he isn’t just family put on, he is his own man and crafted an album demonstrative of his skills and dedication to the craft. With the rain and winter fast approaching it’s the perfect record to keep in the ride and cruise too.
All good things must end. Rarely does that ring true for me but this morning it sure feels right. The week has been a whirlwind of adventures as youcould probablytell. After the shows ended the environment was definitely different however hiphop never really stops in this city.
On Sunday night only blocks from our condo was an Organized Noize tribute show featuring a whole lot of acts none of us had heard off. Burn One and his crew were in the building however so we decided to go check it out. We arrived in time for a few of the no names who did nothing to make me remember their names and then SL Jones took the stage. If the night before I had been disappointed, here he came correct owning his set beautifully. Scotty took the stage shortly thereafter and had the room turnt up. He premiered a new track as well and I can’t wait to be bumping it.
Monday saw the last of my fellow venturers depart. Time to go it alone. I went north for a lunchtime conversation with Burn cruising well north of the city and seeing a suburb far and removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. He cited this as a big reason for his residency there. We ate at a restaurant he worked as a servers assistant at years ago. We covered some ground and the weekend provided some interesting talking points. Stay tuned.
From deep in the north I drove deep to the south to connect with Will, a young emcee I profiled in the One Time @ Bandcamp days. He runs with the Thumbs Up crew, which also happens to be the name of a highly regarded diner chain here we ate at in the morning. He informed me their was no relation. He took me on a ride around his neighborhood, telling me we were in SWATS, College Park and on Campbellton Road. It was an eye opening ride.
Next up was a video premiere for “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James. A name that has been buzzing as of late, I’d chosen to ignore his tape. I showed up to a theatre with a massive crowd in front of it. I ran into Fani and Curtis, along with a few other Two9 associates. Inside I saw Ricky Fontaine of iNDEED and he informed me they were backing up James for his set. I didn’t know a performance was on deck.
By 10 pm the theatre was damn near at capacity, easily 300 people. As Trinidad came out he took a seat with Maurice Garland and an interview took place. It was a cool concept and executed perfectly. I was unaware that Trinidad James was about as unknown to myself and the rest of the world as he is to most ATLiens. He reps the south side, but shouted out every hood. He was proud of this nine to five and shouted out his momma. He was honest about his drug use and lack of trap experience.
He rocked a short set and then launched into the video. It was cool to see on a big screen and the crowd’s participation throughout it felt right. As it ended he asked if he could run it back one more time and a tremendous applause was the response. It seemed like Atlanta has a lot of love for him.
After conspiring with Fani and Curtis, it was off to La Fonda – a local Mexican restaurant, for margaritas and “the best queso in town.” It wasn’t bad. In between family like ribbing from all around Curtis and I chatted about Two9, his solo work, the future, shows and deceased friends. We rode out to Reese’s crib to put something in the air and I witnessed NevaBitch rap in person.
As is the theme in the A, late nights and early mornings. My final day here, time to clean. With the condo looking fresh I whipped Curtis to his moms so I could snag a Pass the Ammo tee and then cruised out to Lil’ 5 Points where I had to get a little southern digging in. Scooping a Cal Tjader and Eddie Palmieri record, two Axelrod produced Lou Rawls gems and the deluxe edition of the new Flying Lotus album it felt like a good trip.
I had one final Two9 member to sit down with. Perhaps one of the more unknown members of the team, Alkebulan and I had a great conversation on my last trip down here and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave without getting some perspectives from him.
He invited me out to the studio he recently got a job at, it turned out to be a Grand Hustle compound, run by the guys who make up FKi. We took a seat in one lab and discussed his role in the crew (engineer, producer, emcee), his name, his output, the future and his northwest ties. Before I took off he played me a selection of jams off his upcoming work and it only reinforced the every expanding sound Two9 is going to show the world they are capable of delivering.
As I drove back to the condo, I stopped at a park and snapped a few pics of local graffiti. I saw much while out here but was never in a position to document. While none of these were the most mind blowing of work, they reminded me of home and showed off something real to me.
When I think about this trip, all I can think about is how much of the city I covered. I don’t have any kind of grasp of direction here, or where exactly I was but it certainly felt like I traversed to many different sides and zones as they are called. I saw a lot, somethings expected and somethings not. Shouts out to all the artists who allowed me to invade their lives and personal spaces for the past week, it was educational and amazing. Till next Atlanta, keep it ratchet. Keep it turnt.
Mornings out here come quick. Not sure if I’m just not fully adjusted to the time change or the fact that I’m staying up until 5 in the morning every night. Whatever the case may be the window filled room I’m staying in assures that the sun has me awake early enough to start the journey all over again.
For the final day of this A3C festival it was pretty much all about the Dirty Glove Bastard showcase happening at the 5 Spot but that wasn’t until later. First up was some writing and interview plotting. Me and Key! had something on the books, he told me to come by his house. I arrived to a nice apartment and he informed me it’s his grandma’s house and that she was coming down to unlock the door.
Key and a friend took a seat on the couch and turned on an episode of the new version of Scared Straight. Featuring an assortment of young kids Key provided commentary about what he saw in them and informed me of family members of his own that reside in DOC facilities. We smoked on the back porch and talked about Atlanta, music, goals the future and more. He played me some new work and told me he wasn’t feeling making beats at the moment.
A call from his newborn son’s mom resulted in an early end to the interview, but I’d just recieved a text from Starlito informing me that he wasn’t far from where I was in Buckhead. I found the restaurant, Houston’s, and walked in. A nice spot it reminded me of work back home. I found Star sitting in a booth with a young lady. After introductions I learned she was an old friend from Nashville. We talked for about forty five minutes covering much ground and only reinforcing my impressions from the previous day.
From here I got a call from POMZ informing me he and Fani were about to link up with Curtis Williams and drop off the care package from FUCT for the crew’s show that evening. We linked in time to catch iNDEED lacing live instruments over an assortment of tunes selected by Burn. Already behind schedule, Grande Marshall came on stage reppin Philly and thankfully was done in three songs. Next up was 2Deep, a guy whose mixtape I’d passed on but had begun to convince me he was worth peeping after seeing him lay down verses on two songs. Sadly his set did little to aid in that consideration.
iNDEED then took the stage, and after having watched them craft two songs yesterday as well as having their recently released album in constant rotation on the trip it was a set I was highly excited to catch. Burn, Pro, Ricky and Walt did not disappoint. They kept it funky and groovy all the while rapping, singing and dancing. Following their set they backed up an assortment of individuals who are known to work with them including KD and SL Jones.
Slick Pulla showed up with a squad of goons and took to the stage for a decent length set but seemed to pass the mic of to a number of said goons. With boredom sinking it I took the chance to meet SL Jones and get another drink. Burn was behind the tables and all of a sudden I heard the annoucement that Trouble was taking the stage. A name I’ve been following since his December 17th release last year it was a set I was looking forward too.
He opened with “Bussin” but only performed half of it. Thankfully he gave us one more song much to my shock it was only my favorite track by the guy – the intro jam off his most recent release 431 Days titled “Mob Shit.” I wasn’t mad at the lip rapping, I wasn’t mad at the one and a half songs. I gave him dap and he told me to get at him on twitter for an interview… here’s to seeing where that goes.
Starlito had told me earlier he had prepared to perform the Step Brothers music with his partner Don Trip but due to something that was never made clear Trip wasn’t coming to Atlanta this weekend and that had Lito bummed out. He told me he wasn’t much for “shows” and stated that he performs in “clubs.” The host of the night stepped on stage and introduced Lito under his older guise, All Star. The beat in the background was “WTF” and I just about spilt my drink all over myself jumping in excitement. As the song ended he shouted out Burn, Live Mixtapes, DGB and his brother Don Trip before saying peace. Like Trouble’s brief appearance I couldn’t even be mad.
It was now time for Scotty to rock. After my last trip out here I was excited to catch Scotty and see how he carried it live. Not being officially on the line up iNDEED wasn’t in the building in full force but Ricky got to the stage about halfway through the set and even showed off his chops on the keys, his ever present guitar around his chest missing. Scotty was live as fuck. He didn’t lip rap either, hitting his bars with passion and energy. It was the set I hoped to see him capable of delivering. Lord knows what he must be like with the band in full force.
At that point it was time for Devin the Dude there at the 5 Spot, I wasn’t interested in sticking around for the Houston legend. Julie and I departed to meet up with the rest of our posse. The other venue featuring a live line up was Star Bar around the corner and the line out the door shut down our hopes of catching Ab Soul. We hung around outside for awhile, watched Trinidad James run around the parking lot and then found some cold beer to drink with the Two9 gang at Lil 5 Pizza.
They were off to Obsession, a club in the East side we had heard mixed reviews about. Upon them hearing we didn’t have a car Fani and Curtis decided to inform us it might not be the best call to venture out. I investigated the potential for a zipcar but it wasn’t happening.
The things you may have heard about Atlanta are probably true. My first time out here I was told it really is Black Hollywood. Yesterday I traveled to three studio’s and watched as many songs be created.
While en route to the Masquerade, the central hub of A3C stages, I received word from Starlito that he was at Artist Factory, a studio I learned was in Buckhead – a neighborhood described by the taxi driver as Atlanta’s Manhattan.
The nondescript building housed several studio’s, we were in a smaller one booked by Killa Kyleon. Lito was posted up, working on raps and smoking blunts. They had just finished a song produced by Trakksounds and certainly in line with the country rap tune tradition I’ve been waving the flag for since my discovery of Burn One.
Star was an easy going guy, laid back and ready to talk. He didn’t duck any questions nor did he try to sugar coat his responses. I told him about my suspicions that Wayne was influenced by his style when at his mixtape peak and he was quick to disagree and inform me that if anything Wayne taught him much about work ethic and keeping tracks getting made.
The conversation was varied and fun, I’ll save the details for later.
From here it was off to Burn’s lab, a house in the middle of a neighborhood called Little 5 Points. As the door opened you could tell it was a special place. If the last studio had platinum plaques on the wall, this one had leftover pizza on the stovetop and swisher guts on the floor. A keyboard found it’s home in the hallway, weed smoke was thick and a beat being built oozed out the back room.
Here I found Scotty writing a verse, Memphis upstart 2Deep practicing his and Walt Live of iNDEED tweaking samples and playing some keys on top of the funky beat. Catching up with Scotty, asking Burn about records and watching a track I’m sure I’ll bump upon it’s release even if I hadn’t seen it made were all recipes for a good day. And it was only 8 PM.
It was finally time to go see some music. Dungeon Family was rocking at Star Bar. It was amazing to see these legends in their home town. It was a learning experience to realize that even cats of their stature are going to rock over their own vocals. I missed Witchdoctor and and got to hear Backbone’s “5 Duece 4 Tre.” They closed with the posse on stage getting turnt up to Even In Darkness tunes.
After slices of pizza we took Burn up on an invite to wander out to Decatur for a studio session going down. It was instantly clear we were going outside the city further than any of us had yet. We pulled up to a large house and found several small studios on the first level along with a pool table in another. Upstairs was where the magic was going down. A large room filled with a professional mixing board and dual monitors. Walt was working the board and adding early elements to the beat. He switched over to his keyboard and started to add his personal flavor to the track. Burn came in and began laying down some drums after running through an assortment of kits.
From there Ricky plugged in his guitar to a pedal belonging to Cory Mo – whose lab we were in. Ricky laid down guitar riffs over the entire track, jamming out solo to the grooves his partners had already begun to form. Rappers were circling the room, drinking, laughing and at times testing out random bars. Professor stepped up and laid some deep bass grooves into the track and from there Burn and Cory perfected it down into the distilled hiphop soul grooves you are already familiar with.
Bars were laid, KD sang a hook and exited joking he was going to release a full length vocal project. He joked it off but I’m convinced it was a serious threat. We had to make our exit before it was finalized but it rang loud and clear as we departed.
For a trip that started out in utter disaster things are looking up.
After missing a flight and thus delaying my second visit to Atlanta by a day I found myself on the plane early Wednesday morning dreaming of how it should have just been twenty four hours earlier. Live and learn right?
Arrival was low key, hopping the MARTA, a public transit system I never touched last time, I arrived at our home base for the week and took to gaining internet access and finding a grocery store. A drive out to the airport to scoop POMZ later and it was time to eat.
Our third roommate for the week, Julie J., arrived just in time and as we all settled in she informed us that Avatar might be joining us. Sure enough our Russian friend arrived and our Seattle contingent at this year’s A3C Festival was feeling stronger.
The homie Original Fani from the Two9 camp fell through and after sneak peeks of new work we took to see Atlanta at night. The hour was against us but we managed to catch a twenty four hour spot that was properly dubbed “White Ratchet” by Avatar.
After acquiring our credentials the following morning and learning not to fuck with taxi’s out here we got into Criminal Records long enough to hear some DJs, including Burn One, speak about mixtape culture and the current hype surrounding them. It was an at times interesting discussion, but equally disappointing at times. The record store was cool, large and filled with crazy sounds along with a sizable comic collection. Unlike back home they were not sold out of the new FlyLo album. Will be copped.
After connecting with Burn and setting up our interview it was off to the Masquerade, an old mill that has been converted into a multi stage space – the space Macklemore will be playing when he touches Atlanta early in November.
Here we got to watch ST 2 Lettaz brief solo set which was filled with three tracks off the recent R.E.B.E.L. EP – closing out with my favorite track in “Space Jam” which knocked harder than you could ever anticipate if only heard on headphones. We ran into the Two9 gang on our exit to Terminal West for a BET sponsored stage headlined by Big Boi.
Arriving showed us a very clean and new venue, reminiscent of both Showbox venues back home. Kris Kasanova was on as we entered delivering a solid but uneventful set. Phil Ade followed, the DMV emcee who I’ve tried to keep an ear to and was excited to catch. He did nothing for me but make me consider departing for something else. Kid Daytona, another name I’ve enjoyed in the past and yet did nothing to capture me while on stage, was the final straw as I took to Uber and arranged a ride.
The choice to go watch some experimental beats be made in a dungeon like venue over catching Big Boi in his hometown might have been silly, and the reviews I’ve heard about the set make it sound phenomenal, but I couldn’t handle watching something boring to be rewarded with something I’ve mostly seen before. But goddamn I’m mad I missed Killer Mike’s appearance.
It wasn’t for nothing however as I stepped foot into the Drunken Unicorn and was immediately pummeled by dusty samples, tremendous bass and a host of other chopped up and tweaked sounds spewing forth out of what had to be eight to ten turntables and a host of other electronic music making machines. Illastrate was just getting introduced, being a name I haven’t heard since my college radio days it was a rare treat to catch the forever slept on producer in his hometown.
A quick jaunt back to the Masquerade found me just in time for an early, and unexpected, Two9 set. Rocking with a posse quite possibly larger than the crowd they kept it turnt up and ran through an assortment of old and new jams, even making sure to pay tribute to their fallen comrades Rugz and Ken Ball – whose Cleveland crew led by Tezo made the trek down to roll with Two9.
They took a quick break, caught their breath, regrouped and got ready to destroy another stage. In the interim I wandered over and caught Killa Kyleon rep for his state with an assortment of songs I’d never heard before. It wasn’t bad, but like most older rappers it wasn’t all that exciting either.
Two9 took to the stage once more but this time it was directed by DJ Osh Kosh, as she played jam after jam, continually catching members of the crew off guard and even at one point having them inform the audience that we were hearing exclusives that had never been done live before. While the sporadic nature of the set led to some forgotten bars and awkward glances between the members from time to time it was all love with mostly family in the building. As quickly as they took to the stage they were out with the beat ending abruptly and the posse dipping out side doors.
If Cardo’s sound is one that excites you, save yourself the time of tolerating Gerald Walker’s raps and go straight for the his solo instrumental drop from Fools Gold – Everything I$ Gold.
Building his reputation off a number of contributions to Wiz Khalifa’s pre “Black & Yellow” catalog, Cardo has always kept it spacy and synthy – perfect for your mind to take flight to. Being totally honest, outside of his work with Wiz I’ve never really paid close attention to his placements. Occasionally I notice his name drop at the start of some random rappers track.
For this instrumental project you get exactly what you expect. Perfect grooves to cruise around the city with on a warm summer night. Preferably along some water with a pretty young thing in the passenger seat. Feeling like a good time is inevitable as Everything I$ Gold plays on. It’s funky and perfectly in tune with the likes of Onra, Dam Funk and Hudson Mohawke yet not biting any of their styles, fitting in smoothly with a hiphop bent that provides the edge needed to see the right emcee master these.
As I mentioned in my opening sentence, Gerald Walker is not such an emcee. He and Cardo have teamed up for a follow up to what I guess was a previous pairing. It never crossed my ears and I’m sad this one did. I peeped it off the strength of Everything I$ Gold. While Cardo isn’t sluffing per se, it’s really just a boring affair. Walker sounds like a knockoff J. Cole – who is already damn near intolerable. To top it off, the project credited to both is only half produced by Cardo. Enough of my Mad Rapper hate, don’t fuck with Gerald Walker.
I feel very excited by the prospects of beat music. From the jump it grabbed me and showed me hiphop anew. It’s sprawled into so many styles that you really can’t capture it all. Recently I’ve been vibing to a few beat soaked albums.
First up was the mighty Gaslamp Killer. Long have I waved the flag for this brainfeeder, having never seen him yet heard enough mixes and listened to enough stories to vouch for his ferocity behind a pair of tables. The solo tunes I’d heard tagged with his name to date hadn’t surprised nor impressed and while I greeted The Breakthrough with excitement it too has fell short of what my ears are in search of. Gonjasufi makes a couple special appearances. He collaborates with a long list of individuals, mostly unsurprising given his reputation in this scene. He keeps it funky and heavy, jumping from grooves to noise and back again with an ear for transitions born out of a career rocking crowds. It’s a unique listen that I will most likely continue to sink my mind in from time to time.
Madlib’s little brother is a constant source of inspirational beat funk. Oh No has always taken a more straightforward approach to his production work than that of his more famous brother – this is not intended as a knock. Oh No is the perfect symbiosis of Dilla and Madlib, D.I.T.C., Premo, Pete Rock and Large Pro. He has honed the art of chopping samples, programing drums and banging out dusty soul drenched head nodders. This skill has been recognized and granted access to a number of different source recordings for themed records. I haven’t gotten my ears to OhNoMite, but Dr. No’s Kali Tornado Funk is an all instrumental affair filled with tweaked leftovers from the sessions. Like Mr. Moore’s character, these are dirty, passion filled grooves.
Since my interview with Butterz captain Elijah I’ve done my best to keep up with whatever him and his team have going on. I was quite excited to hear about the release of Royal-T’s full length via Rinse – the always on point online station I listen to not enough. Featured on this thirteen track outing are some beautiful tunes. Royal-T has an aptitude for elegance within his beats, and while he does cater to the “drop” necessary to rock a crowd, he keeps things interesting and allows for some room to show off other soundscapes and colors. “Cruel To Be Kind” features P-Money who seems to never fail with the verses, having continually impressed me with his work going on three years now. “Music Box” see’s him collaborate with Terror Danjah, a don of the Grime scene from my understanding, the results are an intense bout of what feels like drum boxing. They assault your ears and slow it down, build up and do it all over again. All in all, the selection of synths and electronic sounds and their manipulation is top notch.
The vibe of this track right here pretty much sums up where I’ve been all month. Stepping away from the internets by and large, kicking it with good people in the beautiful and wild Northwest. I’m doing good. Next week I’m dipping out of town with Moms and upon my return we’ll see if I can’t ease back into this virtual world and speak on some cuts.