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I don’t know if I mentioned the producers and beatmakers I really admire, but here’s a couple who really inspire me…


I gotta give FlyLo props on the interplanetary magnetism of Cosmogramma alone. Hearing his progression from Reset to 1983 on up to the newest LP has helped me think about how liberating music can be. The freedom and creativity that oozes through his tracks is something we should all hope to reach. Osmosis maybe?


Georgia is what hiphop should be. When I first gave Olesi a listen I knew I was in for a musical love affair. The raw funk of her beats gets the head nodding and the ears open for the soul that resonates through her tracks. Her newest album is jaw dropping for the simple fact that it bumps so hard and she doesn’t even use a single sample. Have you heard that she produces for Ms. Badu too?  Fuego del tierra!


Dilla. I can’t say any more about this brother than what’s been already said but his music has been that life soundtrack since his days with the ummah. Watching the above documentary left me so much creative energy it’s hard to explain beyond those chills you feel when something really touches you. If you haven’t heard the orchestral tribute you’re missing out on some space-time continuum altering stuff.

There’s a lot more I enjoy listening to on the daily but if I could take pieces of each of these impresario’s styles and transform it into my own sonic gumbo I’d be one happy dude 🙂

*Quick note: I decided to go with this instead of this. I’ll probably end up getting both but I came across a deal I couldn’t pass up! So if there aren’t any new posts for a while just know that I’m in the lab ^_^

This past weekend I had the chance to build with a cool, down-to-earth hip hop producer about his philosophy on making music and the state of things in hip hop right now. I tend to be too cynical at times so it was refreshing to speak with someone about their optimism about where we’re at. His excitement about the vast opportunities open to indie and DIY (do-it-yourself) artists was infectious, and I found myself agreeing with his comments. Musicians and artists really don’t need recording labels or major distribution to get their stuff out there. Smaller groups and acts can get pretty big by building a following online and in their hometowns. It makes for a ton of competition, if you see it that way, but also allows for a lot of creative collaboration and oodles of good music.

We did lament the fact that even though there is more opportunity it doesn’t mean that there’s always more creativity. Folks get trapped in doing “what sells” or “what’s popular” and miss out on the uniqueness of going against the grain, taking risks, and being “dangerous”…you know, doing things that can really change the soundscape of what we listen to. Most of my favorite musicians have gone the dangerous route and created art that I still enjoy blasting to this day. I feel like I try to place myself in that camp by doing what I feel although I often let myself get sidetracked by the little hater

One of the things that stuck with me after the convo was tied to creating something brand new and developing a new way to express ourselves linguistically through music. Most hip hop artists have been using the lexicon built in the 80’s and 90’s, and it’s probably about time to add some fresh slang to the mix. I got a couple ideas derived from all the sci-fi I watch and read along with some fancy colors that just might get things started.

Now on to the fun stuff –

I’m in the market for some beatmaking equipment, samplers and sequencers to be exact. I’ve been looking for something compact and affordable, and something that I can use to play live. I was going to write about how I’ve been wavering between the Boss SP-303 and the Akai MPC 500, but after watching countless videos on teh youtubez showing these machines in action I’ve pretty much made my decision. Plus seeing this guy do his thing was a big sell: