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Metal Lungies Beat Drop Best Of 2010

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I contributed to the epic “Beat Drop” feature on Metal Lungies. My picks were The Diplomats’ “Salute” (produced by AraabMuzik), Starlito’s “GH” (produced by DJ Burn One), “Stop Playing With Me” from Young Jeezy (produced by Dready), E-40’s “Back In Business” (produced by Droop-E), and “24″ from Little Brother (produced by Khrysis). Read part one here and part two here.

Written by Brandon

December 29th, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in 2010, Metal Lungies

Metal Lungies Beat Drop: Best of 2009

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I picked my five favorite beats of 2009 along with a ton of other people for Metal Lungies’ Beat Drop. My picks were “Rising Sun” by G-Side (produced by the Block Beataz),”Run This Town” by Jay-Z (produced by No I.D and Kanye West), Rhymefest’s “Pull Me Back” by Rhymefest (produced by The Matrax), “In the Ruff” by Diamond District (produced by Oddisee), and “First Day Out” by Gucci Mane (produced by Zaytoven). Here’s what I said about that Zaytoven beat. Click to check out the whole feature:
“Usually, a great beat brings together a bunch of disparate chunks of sound into a dope, cohesive whole. This beat by Zaytoven does the opposite: It stacks the same sound (a ping-ponging Zombie movie synth) on top of itself until it’s a crawling mess of bleeps, bloops, and whines, all up in your speakers. It’s deceptively simple and the power comes from the like, casual chaos of it all…the seemingly accidental rhythms and syncopations that stem from this sound-stacking.”

Written by Brandon

December 28th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Metal Lungies: Organized Noize Beat Drop

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Surprised there weren’t more contributors to this one? Bloggers are dropping the ball, whether it’s because you’re lazy, too cool for anything that isn’t your own dotcom, or that “I don’t write for free” bull a lot of you guys are on as of late, Outkast and ONP are something we should all be celebrating. Whatever though–it’s one of the most fascinating and rarefied Beat Drops as a result, which sorta fits the whole Dungeon Fam aesthetic anyways. My picks were “Git Up Git Out (Outkast), “I Didn’t Ask To Come” (Goodie Mob), “Dez Only 1″ (Witchdoctor), “Low Low” (Lil Will), and “Dress Up” (Sleepy Brown):

“Let’s begin by pointing out that “Dress Up” has two saxophone solos. And that said sax solos are played by Sleepy’s pops — Jimmy Brown from Brick. Throw in some comely “Boogie On Reggae Woman” drums and anchor the whole thing around a blaxploitation vibe and you’ve got the ballsy, incongruous, kitchen-sink weirdo production genius of ONP in a nutshell. Steeped in tradition, obsessed with aping their musical heroes but somehow internalizing those influences well enough to spit them back up as something wholly original.”

Written by Brandon

June 10th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Metal Lungies: Pimp C Beat Drop

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Props to Metal Lungies for getting Bun involved. He gives really thorough answers with a lot of back story and additional information. My beat choices were “Trill Ass Nigga” (Southern Way version, “Feel Like I’m The One Who’s Doin’ Dope’”, “Havin’ Thangs”, the “Outro” from Ridin’ Dirty, and “Underground Kingz”:

” One of the craziest and most disturbing pieces of music ever? Maybe. Kanye West teamed up with the fruit that produced Fiona Apple to make some “crack music”; Pimp C did it without a shit-ton of strings and indicating musical histrionics. It’s just squashed drums, screwed vocals, a synth-line that resonates for miles behind the song’s melody, and a whole lot of open space.”

-Noz has an excellent tribute along with 90 minutes of obscure Pimp C productions. Noz has also been twittering Pimp C words of wisdom all day.

-Here’s my obituary from last year. I remember writing it in about twenty minutes right before I went off to work. It was when I worked nights–8pm-5am–and I made everyone listen to Ridin’ Dirty and wanted to tell every customer how Pimp C was dead.

-Christopher’s entry for the Biographical Dictionary of Rap was written before Pimp died (maybe it needs an update?) but’s still an affecting portrait.

Written by Brandon

December 5th, 2008 at 1:56 am

Posted in Metal Lungies, Pimp C, RIP

Metal Lungies: Alchemist Beat Drop

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“The weird loops of nostalgia and reverse nostalgia coursing through Alchemist’s “The Man/The Icon” beat are nearly too much to parse out. Let’s start with Alc taking “Lucky Me” — a piece of near disco from Philly soul legends The Stylistics — and chopping it back into the warm R&B they were doing five years earlier. Those disco party strings become warm Thom Bell orchestration, near Santa Esmeralda horns revert back to the gloriously maudlin sound we associate with The Stylistics; it’s all tight and immediate instead of loose and bell-bottom ready…”

Written by Brandon

October 27th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Metal Lungies: RZA Beat Drop

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The latest “beat drop” from Metal Lungies uh, dropped. My beats were: “Tical” (Method Man), “North Star (Jewels)” (Raekwon), “Reunited” (off Forever), and “No Said Date” (Masta Killa):

““Tical”, the first song on the first solo Wu album — and the start of The RZA’s hyper-productive 1994-1997 production period — was still rugged and raw, but musically, it felt a little more cohesive and musical; even more of a step away from the Marley Marl-style still prevalent in early ’90s New York rap and kinda there on Enter The Wu-Tang. Thick, rolling drums and an oppressive keyboard line dominate this track and perfectly fit Method Man’s weeded persona, while a foggy cloud of voices talk shit in the background for most of the song. A lot of producers would’ve taken the inexplicable success of stuff like “C.R.E.A.M.” and decided to actively court hit singles after that, but RZA and”

Written by Brandon

September 25th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Metal Lungies, RZA, Wu Tang

Metal Lungies: Neptunes Beat Drop

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Once again, I was asked to contribute to Metal Lungies “beatdrop” series and this one’s even better than the last, with tons of great bloggers contributing and Mad Skillz, whose ‘From Where???’ Monique and I have been listening to a lot recently. It was also fun because I like the Neptunes but I’m not this super-fan, so I felt no need to span their career; I just went with gut-reactions beat I like from their later career when all their beats are either like minimalist noise or these like Vangelis-beautiful warm synth workouts. Anyways, my beats were: ‘Locked Away’ by NERD, ‘Frontin’, ‘Allure’ by Jay Z, ‘Lavish’ by Twista, and ‘Wamp Wamp’ from Clipse:

“It’s no surprise that The Neptunes dudes are basically these band nerds, especially on “Locked Away”, which starts off with what sounds like the cool kids in your high school jazz band goofily jamming before the winter concert, but eventually turns into a real song and a melody stumbles out. The entire thing feels almost tossed-off, which is sort of The Neptunes’ appeal. It’s hard to explain why or how the minimalist clap of a track by Chad and Pharrell gets in your head but it does and slowly, all of its complexities and weirdnesses pop up but never become clear. There’s not the club-ready resound of Timbaland in The Neptunes and from the outside, they’ve got none of Kanye West’s pop appeal, but they have it too — it’s weird. N*E*R*D’s a great example of how out-there The Neptunes are without even knowing it. It could’ve been a rock concession but instead it’s this weird funk-rock vanity project. The songs still have those Neptunes signifiers like heavy drums, lots of bass — it’s still totally rhythm-based — and best of all, this Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” on-speed synth-line.”

Written by Brandon

July 21st, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Metal Lungies: Kanye West Beat Drop


I was asked to contribute to Metal Lungies’ Kanye West Beat Drop. As expected, I’m way more pretentious and long-winded than the rest of the dudes, oh well. The beats I picked were ‘Guess Who’s Back?’, ‘Never Let Me Down’, ‘Selfish’, ‘Go’, and ‘The Glory’. Follow the link below:

“This is from Kanye’s best beat-making era. Right after the success of The Blueprint and before he became a superstar, Kanye laced a whole lot of rappers’ albums with two or three beats and usually one of them ended up a street or radio single. In addition to the obvious “trademark” chipmunk-soul, all of Kanye’s beats from this mini-era had these strange, really-thick-but-rather-limp drums on them. It’s like he chopped the drums so short that he removed the beginning and end of the drum sound and sucked out all the bump. Similar drums — probably the exact same drums, really — are all over The College Dropout and critics cited them as a weakness, but it moves Kanye’s production even further away from conventional boom-bap. The drums don’t charge through, they contemplatively knock in the background as basslines and soul strings and subtle “Guess who’s back?” vocal scratches bubble up. My single of this song — it’s the B-side to “On My Block” — credits Kanye, but I’m pretty sure that’s Mos Def on the hook…”

Written by Brandon

June 11th, 2008 at 7:51 am