We heard the teaser a while ago and have been lucky enough to hear Kal perform this track live a few times so it was a pretty nice surprise today to see that Kal has finally decided to put out “Sri Lanka”. Since Yung AOL has overtaken Mattron this technically may be the last Mattron/Kal joint and it’s only fitting that it’s one of the best tracks they’ve ever put out together. There just aren’t many other rappers who can say so much and fit memorable hooks into a track in under 2 minutes but Kal keeps it effortless. If you’ve ever read The Up-Turn before you know we’ve ranted about Kal’s talent and seriously I don’t understand why he’s not famous yet. I listened to some Big Sean earlier today (the kid in a stall next to me was soundtracking his time on the toilet I guess) and it’s not that good. Kal is good. Nah, Kal’s a god.
Sidewalk Kal is Kal the God now and to help you remember the name change he’s released the conveniently titled new single “Kal the God”. We’ve had the privilege of seeing Kal perform live a few times this summer and “Kal the God” has been a live staple of his for a while now so it’s pretty awesome finally getting to hear it recorded. As expected, Kal doesn’t simply rap his lyrics over the beat but experiments with multiple vocal tracks and smaller vocal edits. Big General’s beat isn’t as ornate as some of Kal’s usual beats from Mattron, Color Plus or AceMo, but the extra space allows Kal to strut his charisma and personality all over the track. He’s Kal the God and he’s earned the title.
We’ve been a bit busy recently. We may or may not be planning a totally awesome concert that will be in the hipster mecca this upcoming weekend… nah we totally are. We still got time for beaties though. This batch is brought to you by Voduz channelling some Majora’s Mask-type guru music, Mattron who may or may not be at the totally awesome concert that we’re hosting in the hipster mecca this upcoming weekend, Lanzo bringing viiiiiibes, uXi bringing that dance floor head-shaking music and Ice Underlord with some reaaaaal icy shiiiit. Brr. Hit that jump.
Last night Terence and I ventured out to our hipster haven in Brooklyn to meet up with the cool dudes Sidewalk Kal and Ghost Row who both gave amazing performances in an amazingly cramped space. Even though their set hardly lasted over 20 minutes, with Kal only jumping in for a few, they reminded proved there is a lot more to their talent than their lush performances. Kal has some serious gold coming through soon with a mixtape with Mattron dropping later this year. Whether dropping a few quick verses in a dude’s apartment infront of a crowd of sweaty hipsters or confidently striding over a minute of Mattron’s lush production, Kal never disappoints.
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.