Considering his more experimental turn in music making recently, I was unsure of whether Hanz would return to making the amazing hip-hop beats that Chris Villa struts over so well. It’s been a while, but the pope and Hanz are back working together and the result is the mature and fine tuned “Deaf Check 3″. While “Deaf Check 3″ is easily one of the most precisely orchestrated hip-hop beats Hanz has put together, it is anything but restrained. Instead, we find a calm, cool and collected Chris Villa threatening cops and riding through his city with the kind of laid back perspective of an elder statesman of hip-hop. It’s amazing hearing Chris Villa sound so confident and comfortable over the abstract beat and it only has me more excited than ever for the return of Hanz and Chris Villa working together.
A lot of genres have been doing a good job of feeling pretty stale to me lately, but fortunately, rap is not one of them. In the past few months there has been no shortage of awesome rappers bringing in fresh and fearless new sounds to the genre. Black Kray is the newest one of them. I’ve been listening through Kray’s soundcloud and youtube pages for a few days now and still can’t really pin him down to one sound at all. He’ll pop up on a feature on some other song and I won’t even realize its him at first. Even though this might sound like some sideways criticism, its not at all. With way too much music for me to handle being pushed into my face via the internet every day, everything kind of just pales into a bland mush of gray and 808′s, but Kray stands right in front making me guess what new thing I’m going to hear from him every time. Above almost mumbles through an entire track and it works perfectly, while in “30 Round Clip Kreayshawn” (video after the jump), he walks through some clichè rap scenery while laying down a slew of memorable lines over a simple beat. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about that many new artists these days, so I’m thankful for Black Kray doing whatever the fuck he wants. Listen/watch more after the jump.
This is where I always knew Tay Devenny could reach. ”Orange” has a sunken, lounge soundscape provided by beatsmith ฬเןl which provides exactly what Tay needs to ponder his smooth thoughts. Tay sounds right at home occupying the beat as some lone drunken patron in a smoke-filled bar who doesn’t care if people are listening to his rambles as long as he can vocalize his thoughts. Arc comes out the 31st.
I’ve known for a while that Young Fathers were from Scotland, but I didn’t think I would ever really hear it in their music. Young Fathers have always incorporated musical ideas from all over the world into their music, but this track immediately recalls their home country as soon as it begins with an arpeggiating synth over a drone note that sounds like a futuristic bagpipe. As usual, Young Fathers complement this awesome instrumental with some incredible vocals, alternating between singing and chant-like rapping, this time with a political message at the forefront of their lyrics, which perfectly ties in with the patriotic instrumental. This track comes from their upcoming album set to release in early February on Anticon.
I still don’t really know how I stumbled on this release, but I think that adds to the darkness of it, so I’m going to try to leave it that way. Underworld Dust Funk are the trio of Caz Green, Khrist Koopa, and Bolo Nef hailing from Seattle, and they make some of the darkest rap I’ve heard in a while. At face value, the lyrics on this album aren’t anything new or special, repeatedly referencing drugs and womanizing, but when constantly hammered into your brain over the entire 35 minutes of this tape, backed by incredibly bleak yet huge beats, it completely pulls you into UDF’s own hazy world. UDF aren’t doing anything revolutionary on this album, but what they are doing, they are doing really well. Stream two of my favorite tracks below, and the whole album after the jump.
It’s been far too long since we’ve heard new Kal (whether it’s been as Sidewalk Kal, Kal Pacino or Kal the God) and even longer since we’ve heard Kal and CT beatsmith Color Plus team up on a joint. ”P A R A N O I D” demonstrates that Kal hasn’t been slacking off but has been maturing and sharpening his craft. The track opens up with Kal rocking a near SPACEGHOSTPURRP like flow over Color Plus’ hypnotizing, narcotic-laced beat before opening up into a verse that is distinctively all his own. ”P A R A N O I D” features some of Kal’s best overdubbing (something he’s always been great at) with multiple tracks working together to create a multilayered and emotive verse. It’s clear that when “P A R A N O I D” comes to it’s quick stop by the end of the track that Kal doesn’t always need to say it directly to remind us that he’s a rap god.
For people that don’t know, Yung Gud, one of Yung Lean’s excellent producers, has been around making more than just futuristic spacey trap beats for a while. His soundcloud page has a huge catalog of different work which you wouldn’t expect if you only listened to his music with Yung Lean. This track is a really good example of his versatility. This time Yung Gud is working with UK artist littlecloud, who we have featured in our Eat Your Beaties before, but I had no idea had an amazing voice. Yung Gud’s beat is subtly spaceous with a huge amount of different textures, and littlecloud’s emotive vocals perfectly match it. Yung Gud’s work with Yung Lean is great, but I also want to hear more of this.