When it comes to soulful sounds in Hip Hop, there is no need to look further than Brooklyn’s very own, DJ Spinna [click to read]. The purveyor of all things funky, jazzy and mellow, Spinna (real name: Vincent Williams) crafts hypnotic beats that are top choice for the discriminating Rap fan who value his particularly smooth approach towards crafting beats. More than just the feel-good vibe of his music, the famed deejay/producer is also known for exposing his audience to east coast-influenced emcees who remain grounded in the true school ethos, foregoing the usual gully styles and capitalistic bravado in order to make their real presence felt on the microphone.


Williams‘ latest solo effort, Sonic Smash, shows that nothing much has changed in terms of his tried-and-true formula of blending melodious orchestrations with endless amounts of thoughtful lyricism. While aging rappers such Jay-Z [click to read] are finally coming to grips with their age and the fast-changing landscape of Hip Hop’s demographic by declaration the advent of “grown folk” music, Spinna‘s sonic creations have rarely strayed from being classy and mature. For instance, take a look at some of the themes explored by the album’s guest artists who range from the relatively unknown (e.g., Senor Kaos) to those established in their own right (e.g., Phonte of Little Brother [click to read]): knowledge of self, sexual fidelity and quality lyricism in Rap. Furthermore, violence is rarely glorified to ridiculous ends and neither sex nor money is given sophomoric emphasis on any of the jams featured on Spinna‘s LP.


Even the hardest-sounding song on Sonic Smash (i.e., “Get Down” featuring AOK Collective [click to read]) still contains enough moments of introspection, profundity and wisdom from turning it into your run-of-the-mill east coast battle Rap. Also, On “Call Me Senor” (featuring Senor Kaos), those expecting to hear needless machismo and mindless gun talk based on the title might be disappointed by the presence of intelligence, wit and playful exuberance displayed by the up-and-coming emcee. Other joints on the album that bless the mind with intellect include “Melody” (featuring Shabaam Shadeeq and Erik Rico), a love story that neither flounders in sentimentality nor takes the ordeal of courtship too seriously and “Still Golden” (featuring female rapper, Tiye Phoenix), a soft-spoken breakdown of American history and the rebirth of a people that have learned greatly from the struggle.


DJ Spinna‘s new full-length, Sonic Smash, truly delivers on his quest to keep Hip Hop invigorated with timeless soul. In addition to the melodic instrumentals, the emcees featured on the album aid tremendously in the message by tempering their lyrical output with the power of wisdom, depth and understanding. Maybe other rappers can learn a thing or two from the famed New York producer in what it means to make good music that is specifically aimed for the “grown and sexy”.