Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Rap-Up

At this point of the year everyone is throwing out their top 10 lists.  They're kind of cliche, but they serve as a recap/snapshot of the last twelve months.  I honestly don't have 10 LPs or songs I could come up with, but I do have some great highlights for 2011.

Best Summer Jammie/album (tie)

Polyester The Saint - "The El Co"

Polyester The Saint dropped one of the best summer time anthems I've honestly heard since "Nuttin' But A G Thang."  Please believe that I HATE AUTOTUNE.  I think it's one of those corny sounds that's going to define the last couple years like how you can tell a movie is from the late 70s when you hear disco music in the score.  Regardless... Polyester The Saint's "The El Co" is an example of just using something like that to add to the mix and not carry the song.  I stumbled across this cut over the summer and it quickly became one of my favorite tracks to listen to these last few months.  His LP, "Sumthin Ta Creez To," was an album packed to the brim with warm weather car bumps and late night cruising. 

Rusty Redenbacher & Mr. Kinetik - "Cashin' In"

Naptown held it down this year.  Indy's hip hop scene is one of the things I truly miss after heading back home to the 206.  Just as I left the 317 a slew of releases came out of Indianapolis that I hope will put the town on the map.  Rusty Redenbacher & Mr. Kinetik's "Professor & Hustler" LP was one of them.  "Cashin' In" was another song that demanded to be played with windows rolled down and BBQs in full effect.  I can proudly say that I dropped that track on KAOS 89.3 and injected the PNW with the dope ish that has been bubbling out of The Nap.

Up and Coming Artist (solo)

Mr. Kinetik 

Mr. Kinetik has been doing his thing in Naptown for a minute, but 2011 was when he became an artist that could not be ignored in Indy's hip hop scene.  (or any other for that matter)  With the back to back projects that were being released out of Naptown this year, Mr. Kinetik was part of at least 5 of them.  (and they progressively got better as the year progressed)  2011 started off with the collab "Green Hornet EP" with Eratic, then was followed with the ATFU comp and the Rusty Redenbacher & Mr. Kinetik "Professor & Hustler."  When most artists loose steam with back to back releases Mr. Kinetik rounded 3rd base and brought it back home with his opus "Sounds of Soul" LP and "Clockwork" mix.  "Sounds of Soul" is the kind of album that would fit in nicely next to your Mos Def, Bilal and Common albums and has the potential to be just as classic.  Easily one of the best albums to come out THIS year and easily one of the best albums I've heard in a LONG time.

Up and Coming Artist (Group)

The Proforms

Once again, another heat rock from the 317.  Made up of four members from other well established Indy acts, The Proforms don't come off as a "super group/collab" project, but as their own group with their own distinctive sound and vibe.  All four members have each released solid material, but as The Proforms I honestly think they have all found their groove and truly developed as artists.  Their LP, "Atavism," is like that tape you had in your system that you'd play nonstop with end to end burners.  I only hope this release will give Ace, Skittz, Joe Harvey and DJ Spoolz the attention that I know they deserve with their LP.  Strictly raw golden age boom bap to slap suckas silly. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

RA Scion track "Steal" prod by Dawhud featured on Planned Parenthood comp

Various Artists | Sex Positive: A Benefit Compilation for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest | CD Baby

Hear a better/clearer snippet of the track I produced on RA Scion's upcoming "Beg, Borrow, Steal" on this Planned Parenthood comp.

Check track 7, "Steal" produced by... Dawhud.

That's Hammer... (proper)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Proforms - Atavism (review)

GET READY!!!  The lead single and 1st track off of The Proform's debut LP "Atavism" is nothing but a wake up call for cats to prep for the group's classic blend of beats & rhymes.  The group consisting of Joe Harvey, Ace One, Big Skittz & DJ Spoolz have all established themselves within the Naptown scene in separate or prior projects, but have joined together to not form a "super group" but as a NEW group.  With their varying backgrounds and sounds in other projects, each member brings a different vibe and element to the project that adds to the overall flavor instead of fighting against itself. 

The production is headed up by Joe Harvey and when comparing it to prior efforts like "Twilight Sentinels," he's grown as a producer/beatmaker with a more polished/developed sound.  Although his prior work has proven to be a quite impressive resume, this project is some of his best work yet.  Schooled in the art of "golden age" hip hop, Joe Harvey is able to keep the production classic AND relevant without it sounding too dated. 

On the mic, Harvey also puts in his two pennies, but Ace-One and Skittz round out the group's emcees killin' every track they rip.  Although I've seen Ace and Skittz murder guest spots on tracks and live sets, the three emcees focus on building their brethren than outshining one another.  Each member of the group is a key element in their sound and their is no question that they all are well rounded and schooled emcees.     

Sonically "Atavism" is a cohesive and classic blend of soul, reggae and jazz to create an end to end tape burner of dope boom bap.  The Ace-One solo "Mind Over Matter" is reminiscent of Da Youngstas' "Mad Props" and not only highlights the powerhouse that Ace is, but has the potential to go the distance as a solid 12" or single track.

Another one of the stand out cuts on the LP is actually an interlude/dedication to DJ Mpozi, "Suite for Mpozi."  The interlude does more in what it doesn't say than what could be done if Joe Harvey, Skittz or Ace dropped a verse to it.  Although I moved to Naptown a year to the day he passed, it was obvious HOW much he meant to the scene.  And despite never meeting or knowing him, Skittz and Joe Harvey pieced together a dedication that damn near brought me to tears as the vocal sample says, "I'd bring you back if I knew how."

Atavism is an example of well rounded emcees, production and DJ skills coming together to make a solid LP instead of the sloppy unfocused albums that have flooded the market the last few years.  The Proforms have put together a debut that has added to Naptown's steady list of dope releases and can easily be included in 2011's top ten lists.  (period)

Don't sleep.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ra Scion "Beg, Borrow, Steal" EP live preview (Dawhud production)

After returning to the PNW I began reconnecting/networking with artists I knew or knew OF from Seattle before I left or while I was in Naptown.  One of the artists I hit up was Ra Scion (Common Market, Victor Shade) and I asked if he'd be interested in working on something.  I sent him a handful of beats and one of them was for a track I had already written and started recording called "Gears In Motion."  Although I had technically started working on the track I thought I'd send it his way anyway and if he really wanted the beat, he could use it.  A couple days go by and I get a text from him saying that that's the beat he wants.  (Boom!!!)

We hit each other up over the next couple months and here we are as he preps for his EP "Beg, Borrow, Steal."  This is the live preview he did of the EP at the Cornerstone and my track is the last in the set.  (at the 8:04 mark)

Check Ra as he murders the ish!

"Take IT BACK!!!"