Over the past year, Soundcloud and the communities building in it have played a larger and larger part in how I found music. Soundcloud has always been great for finding new ideas in electronic music, but not so much in other genres, especially rap. Sidewalk Kal is one of the few rappers who has really stood out to me, and over the past few months has become one of my favorite rappers in general. Aside from getting the best beats from best-kept-secret beatmakers across the internet, Kal has never delivered an even slightly disappointing verse. I got to talk to Kal last week about how he chooses beats, the Chicago rap scene, and total creativity as an artist and now our conversation is here for your enjoyment after the jump, largely unedited as usual.
To start the new year on the right foot, New York beatsmith Mattron just released a new beat tape. For those of you not familiar with Mattron’s style, his beats, which combine classic New York sounds with modern hip-hop experimentalism and abstract, caught my ear last year with his work with Sidewalk Kal. Since then Mattron has released a track here and there on Soundcloud, but has presumably been spending most of his time on this tape. SPILLS shows Mattron’s ability to hem samples together to be at an all time high. The tape combines an uncountable amount of samples into 15 different beats that all sound fresh off of some dusty vinyl, with hard hitting drum breaks and heavy basslines. Still, out of all of the great instrumentals, my favorite track has to be his collaboration with Sidewalk Kal on the bonus track, so I hope to hear more from both of them in 2013. Stream my two favorite tracks below and the whole tape after the jump.
In one of my recent trances where I black out for an extended period of time and end up finding many awesome tracks by awesome artists on my favorites list on Soundcloud with no recollection of how they got there, I stumbled across Chicago rapper Sidewalk Kal and his work with New York producer Mattron and had to share. Although, it’s a huge party foul in the hip-hop community, I’m going to compare their work to Illmatic because to me the comparison came to mind right away. Sidewalk Kal has a smooth, gimmick-less flow with wise beyond his years lyrics that remind me of Nas, and Mattron’s boom-bap beats remind me of the beats Nas collected for Illmatic (especially DJ Premier and Pete Rock’s) with an added hint of the modern abstract element of hip-hop popularized by beat makers like Madlib. I don’t know too much about either Sidewalk Kal or Mattron, but I think their music speaks for itself, so listen below and link to their individual Soundcloud pages below that.