A few days ago I found out I have been a huge fan of someone
for a long-ass time without even knowing it. Dude’s supplied some of the most
definitive beats for more than a decade and is every bit as responsible for
carving the classic East Coast flavor as damn near anybody out there. I’m
speaking of Domingo, the Latin New York producer who has been sitting behind
the board for some (see: a lot) of the greatest mic controllers ever to do it –
past and present. Since passing a demo to Marley
back in the ’80s, the man has produced for KRS-One, Rakim, Pun, Eminem and many more. He’s even produced for Shaq Diesel himself! Unfortunately,
he’s never gotten the attention he deserves and with his March release (aptly
titled) The Most Underrated, Domingo looks to step up and take
what’s his.

From jump, we get one of the purist examples of East Coast boom bap in recent
years with Big Daddy Kane (“Bed Stuy”),
Ortiz (“Exactly”), and Guru (“Major Game”) setting up the
first handful of tracks. Canibus,
and Immortal Technique
form the meat of the lineup as Domingo
switches the sound up to fit the deeper, more reflective rhymes of “All Clap,” “Cold
War” and “Street Hustle.” Every time I hear Termanology the dude blows me away. Take my advice and stay awake
on this man.

Top to bottom, the production is just ridiculous. You have to love the track to
Born Unique‘s “2 Step.” Domingo murders the “so current it’s
old” sped up sample as to tell beat makers who’ve been milking this sound to
death as of late that it’s been done way before them.



Oddly enough, with the retarded amount of icons on cast, the show is definitely
stolen by the independent route in this particular case. Fellow QN5 member Tonedeff dances around one of the more melodic instrumentals of the
record and drops a narrative like only he can. “Easy Now” is definitely a
standout track,; but still, nothing comes close the curtain-closing “Fuck You
Mean.” With the help of another QN5er
PackFM and Rhymesayers co-captains Slug
and Brother Ali, Domingo builds something as close to
perfection as anything can possibly be. Nothing more can be said about this
than that.

Really, just look at the artists lending their voice to this record and you’ll
know how serious this is. There’s Kane, Kool
G Rap, Guru, Immortal Technique, Ras Kass, Joell Ortiz, Beatnuts, Rugged
Intellect, Born Unique, Precise, Canibus, Deacon The Villain, Termanology, Non
Phixion, Tonedeff, Sluggo, PackFM
, and Brother
Ali. Take a minute to catch your breath.

Now, I’m not oblivious, a lot of the love this record could very well be
nostalgia talking. And given the times, those who do not have that natural
affinity for pre-’93 New York Hip Hop are bound to think this record sounds a
little dated. In which case, Gino The
(of YouTube fame) has a message just for you: Go fuck yourself.