Speakerblogggs is Chart Attack’s weekly roundup of great hip-hop that we think deserves more play.
It's mixtape week! Free listening from Dutch E. Germ, 100s, and a handy collection of grime upstarts.
Boxed Vol. 1 demonstrates just how huge an endeavour parsing a small community's sound can be. The Boxed event is held in London at Peckham Palais, and was created by producers Mr. Mitch, Slackk, Logos and Oil Gang. Their styles are all distinct, and at 18 tracks the collection has a lot more to say about a subgenre best known for songs synonymous with its title. There's a share of classic, pre-pre-Yeezus abrasions and open spaced tracks that question sinogrime's death. But then you'll hear a gentler cut like William Skeng's "Visit Me," a house of mirrors made of soul-pop samples, or "West Of Rome" from Slackk - grime's unofficial anthologist - like Phillip Glass meets Kode9 with an empty sample bank. Pretty shocking stuff, given his track record. It's at those moments that the scope of the community is made apparent, and it's exciting to wonder how the energy will feed these artists in their next releases.
DJ Rashad is the global centre piece of Chicago's footwork scene and his own Teklife crew. It's not like that status wasn't earned with Double Cup's spacious, PLUR atmosphere, with a bounce both giddy and sharpened with a natural toughness. Taso, who appeared on that record, hosts this new compilation, centred on Teklife's fevered tempo sample flipping on classic tracks like Camp Lo's "Luchini (AKA This Is It)," Outkast's "SpottieOttieDopaliscious," Wu Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." and more. Yo Gotti and Childish Gambino tunes also make appearences, but ultimately it's when the three producers rip out a classic's guts that things get really interesting, and sweaty.
Dutch E. Germ, IN.RAK.DUST
Stick with the first track off of Tim Dewitt's new mixtape as Dutch E. Germ, and you'll hear the wave of panning, competing shouts that was sampled by Kanye West for "New Slaves." And this mixtape, released through UNO NYC, fits perfectly in a post-Yeezus world with its blow-out beats, each a temperamental collage of different beasts. As a former member of Gang Gang Dance, DeWitt is familiar with creating songs that are closer to progressive electronic incantations. Much of IN.RAK.DUST has this magic, but invoked from within a battered bomb shelter, with its songs scouting the scorched landscape.
Do you enjoy Chromeo but sniff at their lyrics, cribbed from a lost draft of Saturday Night Fever? Do you appreciate Dâm-Funk continuing the Bootsy Collins tradition of laser funk? 100s, recently signed to Fool's Gold, curls his sound on next mixtape IVRY from the chilly beats on Ice Cold Perm while doubling down on his bro-y bar room sexual conquest raps. But his X-rated Tex Avery persona is no more a part of this world than getting hit by an anvil and surviving; his character past any sane definition of veracity, the tape is saved from becoming Entourage: Bay Rapper Edition.
SpaceGhostPurrp, Black Money World 2: Intoxxxicated mixtape
Listening to SpaceGhostPurrp's 4AD debut The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp with perspective, it sounds like the work of an artist cleaning up his act and being gently reeled in to the mainstream; even other rappers like A$AP Rocky and Wiz Khalifa got pulled into the orbit of his Black Money World. Now here's the second edition of that mixtape series, the first of which marked him abandoning the higher profile path in favour of his wretched origins. It's uneven and crushingly nihilistic, as you'd expect from a producer who seems determined to alienate every person who doesn't suit his ideal for a fan base. But when he allows himself to have fun, the songs overcome the artist's overwhelming personality. Though it's still focused on the Memphis underground and DJ Screw's trill, there's evidence on tracks like "Big White Cups" that the sound of the South's new trap has infiltrated his own cocktail.