“[Hip Hop] moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That’s what Ferris Bueller said about life; we found it true about Hip Hop. In all the songs that get posted on HipHopDX.com each week, there’s some greatness that doesn’t get the proper attention it deserves. This week we bring you an Alchemist side-project, La The Darkman’s kid brother, and a Def Jux alum doin’ his damn thing with a longtime producer.
Hail Mary Mallon – “Meter Feeder (Blockhead Remix)”
It felt like as fast as Hail Mary Mallon dropped Are You Gonna Eat That? the buzz faded. That’s unfortunate, considering the trifecta of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz housed a consistent one-two punch from start to finish on their album. One of the standout tracks was “Meter Feeder” for sure, but producer Blockhead’s remix of the track made for a shining moment this week. Blockhead is no stranger to Aesop Rock’s delivery, having produced for the wordsmith and other Def Jux affiliates – in addition to his own catalog. His take on the track makes it transform from boom-bap to a slick Middle Eastern inspired cut with flutes and handclaps. He smoothed out the rough edges, and allowed for the lyrics to really standout. Dare we say this one should have been the original version?
Listen to “Meter Feeder (Blockhead Remix)” by Hail Mary Mallon (Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz)
Gangrene – “Jaws”
Roc Marciano and Gangrene both made under-the-radar, but incredibe projects last year (see Marcberg and Gutterwater). However, with Decon signing the U.N. emcee, why not cross-collaborate for a short-run project? The Greneberg EP is a seamless collaboration between Roc, Oh No! and Alchemist. “Jaws,” which is only available on the digital run of the EP, shows how much sense this work actually makes. Bugged out production (courtesy of Madlib’s brother Oh No), and really consistent rhymes makes Greneberg seem like a group with years of studio and creative chemistry. For anybody skeptical of all the “swagger” references in the neon era of Hip Hop, this pure unadulterated Hip Hop that sounds like something Wild Pitch Records might have dropped, had they lasted.
Listen to “Jaws” by Gangrene (Roc Marciano, Oh No!, Alchemist)
Willie The Kid – “Cornucopia”
Like this week’s other two ‘slept-on’ selections, Willie The Kid’s “Cornucopia” is a track that places the same value on its spacey left-of-center production as it does on the rhymes themselves. The opening sounds of popping vinyl are a signifier that “Cornucopia” – and the upcoming The Crates project it is featured on – will be something far from the sterile 16 bar, four-on-the-floor security blanket that many of today’s artists cling to. Embracing the organic off-kilter sounds of beats sampled 100% from the crates, Willie’s evocative word associations and shifting first and third person “Canterbury Tales from the stairwell” share equal track time with Brooklyn-based R&B singer Afaliah. “Cornucopia” isn’t a track that screams innovation but it breathes and sounds like humans made it, stopping and starting whenever they saw fit. These days that deserves the same recognition.
Listen to “Cornucopia” by Willie The Kid