As we get ready to ‘fall’ into Fall ‘11, grant me this opportunity to mention my 5 favorite Hip Hop Instrumental Albums of Summer 2011. These albums were in constant rotation in my devices and are in no particular order. Every album has a distinct sound that brings home a unique emotion, art, and story to the ear of the listener.
These albums illustrate how diverse the sound of Hip Hop has become from the earlier versions of sample-loaded ‘boom bap’ to the more modern synthesized and live instrumentation forms of Hip Hop.
Follow the sounds as they take you across the nation; starting in Sacramento, CA with Hippie Sabotage, then fly over to catch Oddisee in D.C, afterwards take the bus with Pig Pen to Detroit, followed by an early charter flight to The Enginear in Atlanta, GA, and finally back to the West Coast (in a car) with Sango Beats to Seattle, Wa.
These albums will always remind me of Summer ‘11.
Produced by: Hippie Sabotage/So Crates & Sour Beats Title: Vol. 2 Released: 22 June 2011
Memorable tracks: The Heist; Open Doors; Manufacture of Consent; Stolen Car; Can’t Find Nothing; Play the Silences; Hey Hey Hey.
Produced by: Oddisee Title: Rock Creek Park Released: 23 August 2011
Memorable tracks: Skipping Rocks; The Carter Barron; Scenic Route to You; Uptown Cabaret; Beach Dr.
Oddisee says: “”Rock creek park is & has always been one of my favorite places in Washington, DC. It has a way of aging with you & adapting to where you are in life. When I was younger, it was a place for skipping rocks, bike rides & imaginary adventures in the woods. As a teen it was a place where I played basket ball, had cook outs with friends & walked through with dates. As an adult it’s my short cut through the city, my quickest way from Silver Spring to George Town. One thing it still is and always well be is my retreat.
Listening to the Black Byrd’s “Rock Creek Park” inspired me to create an entire album around the park & my relationship with it. If the park were to have a soundtrack, what would it be? What does walking along the trails of the park sound like? What does driving on the narrow tree lined roads sound like? This album is my interpretation of Rock Creek Park through break beats, samples & live instrumentation.”
Produced by: Pig Pen Title: Summer State Released: 23 August 2011
Memorable tracks: Life is Real; The Dynasty; Summer State; For A Friend.
Pig Pen says: “Just some instrumental shit influenced by summer. Just somethin’ to ride/smoke/drink/chill to. Hope you all like it”
Produced by: The Enginear Title: The RCT Beat Tape Released: 09 July 2011
Memorable tracks: The Boro; Woofin’; Some Groove; The Moment feat: Van Detta and Jasmine Porter; Star Clusters; Lightweight; Kitty Chow; Matterhorn; Why Do I.
About the Enginear: 17 year old from Atlanta, GA. Started listening to J-Dilla who inspired him to do beats. His influences are drawn by the likes of Black Milk, M-Phazes, Boon Doc, Kelakovski, Jaisu, Croup, TallBlackGuy, Nottz, G-Mo, J Dilla, Kanye West, Flying Lotus, Just Blaze 9thWonder, DJ Khalil, 14KT, and other folks.
The Enginear says: “RCT Beat Tape Vol. 1 is a compilation of beats that I’ve made over the past two years. I draw inspiration from all types of music, so I tried to have a little bit of everything on this tape from boom bap to soulful.”
Produced by: Sango Beats Title: As Always Released: 05 Mar 2011
Note: Despite this album not releasing during the Summer, it was this album that got my Summer started off on the right foot, musically.
Memorable tracks: Funky Spectacular; Frolicking in Metal Flower Petals; Fall From Your Heart; Un-innocent Young; Crash; Tigrinya Lingo; Naija Lingo
Who is Sango?: Sango A.K.A. Kai has been producing since the age of 13. Originally from Seattle, the name Sango is Japanese, which he got from an old anime show called Inuyasha.
You can catch more of Sango at SoundCloud.