Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wests other Producers

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I had to weigh in on a couple more producer comps the year has seen released. With strong showings from both Jake One and Statik Selektah you would think we had been blessed with enough heat from the always on their gind underground beatmakers, but instead we have also been blessed with two from west coast legends DJ Revolution and DJ Babu.

Babu dropped the third volume of his Duck Season joint filled with his dusty brand of funky and thumping Hip Hop tracks. The Beat Junkies/Dilated Peoples representative digs deep pulling a number of fresh and unknown samples out of his crates and sets them up with hard drums and a great assortment of guest emcees.

Opening with his crew for a quick burst of energy to get you into the mood Duck Season 3 knocks from the start. Quickly getting into album cuts we see M.O.P. do what they do best on “Dearly Departed” - Babu sounds like he was meant to give the Brownsville bombers those heat rocks.

DJ Babu ft. Little Brother, Joe Scudda & D-Brock "Fan Mail"

From here the line up never falters with the Justus League crew coming through rocking like they do and an interesting pairing of Doom and Sean Price proves to work great with both NY emcees going in over a more up tempo and slightly left of center Babu construction here.

DJ Babu ft. Strong Arm Steady "O.G."

While the aesthetic of the album lends itself well to the east coast, Babu doesn’t forget his home bringing out a number of the next school west coast artists. Strong Arm Steady continues to impress over what might be the best beat here for “O.G.” – where Babu found that sample is a mystery but it’s an amazing example of what a producer can do when his crate game is top class.

DJ Babu ft. Evidence "For Whatever It's Worth"

His Dilated fam comes through again for solo go rounds, Evidence on the impressive “For Whatever It’s Worth” which my Seattle folks might recognize as the beat that lost Babu his spot in the Big Tune beat battle last year. This isn’t to say the beat is lacking, just not what a crowd in a club is looking for! Rakaa teams with Kardinal for the fun “2 Feet” with both emcees flexing lyrical muscle, even if Kardinal’s flow seems a bit sloppy.

With tracks from Termanology, A.G., MED, Guilty Simpson, Bishop Lamont, Percee P, Oh No, and many others Duck Season 3 will stand next to any of the producer comps released this year or any other as a great demonstration of Babu’s skill on the MPC and behind the decks, as he takes things one step further taking the time to blend each track into the next – FRESH!

Continuing the trend of putting something a little different into the mix to keep your album from getting completely lost in the shuffle (Rev needs this, you see what else dropped with him?) DJ Revolution shows off his considerable skills on the cuts with the delivery King of the Decks on Duck Down records, but don’t let the NY from LA connection fool you, Rev shows both coasts love here!

Teaming up with a number of guests, like all these comps have done, Rev pairs emcee’s together with other acts or a great beat for them to destroy. KRS comes through to pay tribute to the art of the DJ and continue his crusade for the culture, keep going Kris we need someone to represent us!

Rev connects the two best emcees from the 313, in what is as far as I know their first collabo (and hopefully not the last). Hearing Guilt and Royce attack his beat is as good as you might imagine it to be and these Detroit heavy hitters prove why their names ring bells.

Of course he connects with his Duck Down family, giving the BCC a great smoked out beat for Buck to kick it off to and the whole team follows suit – Starang is still the sickest in the camp! Special Teamz also come through for the hilarious “Big Top” which, like the well placed vocal sample states is about the circus of clowns rap is today.

Revolution’s west coast heritage isn’t forgotten however as he brings out LA legend Tony G to break down the who’s who of the DJ culture present in the city and responsible for it’s sound, before dropping into an updated “Funky Piano” done to perfection by Bishop Lamont, Crooked I and Styliztik Jones.

DJ Revolution ft. Bishop Lamont, Crooked I & Styliztik Jones "Funky Piano 2008"

Jones being the only unknown here gets another shot to impress this time alongside another unknown Kbiemean for “Willie Lynch” and while their dope emcees, like so many west coast acts they just don’t quite seem to have that X factor that will catapult them to the masses – but keep an eye out for them, they will be making waves in the years to come.

As I mentioned earlier, Rev uses the album to demonstrate his skills with the cuts and he does it often. Never getting old however, it’s incredibly impressive to hear him get busy alongside Q-Bert and DJ Spinbad on their respective features. It’s also amazing to see an album released with tracks dedicated to the art of the scratch, DJ’s and producers take notice – this stuff is part of the culture for a reason!

Strong Arm Steady, Evidence, Defari, Termanology and Joell Ortiz round out some of the highlights here all doing their thing on the mic, if you have been a fan of any of the work these cats have been putting out as of late you won’t be let down by what they blessed Rev with.

DJ Revoltution ft. Defari "Spit Ridiculous"

On the beat front, this might be on the lower scale of things. Revolution is a fresh producer, but this definitely takes the cake as being dedicated to a certain dusty vintage sound that can only take you so far. While he is digging deep chopping these samples up and laying ‘em down with some hard drums, he rarely steps out this box.

But Rev hasn’t worked in radio all his life for nothing and just like “The Wake Up Show” captured everyone’s attention for so many years, Rev takes the same approach in design to the album keeping it always forward moving and progressive along with the inclusion of some well placed comments from other DJ’s King of the Decks will keep you listening to track twenty four and beyond.

Bonus MP3: DJ Revolution ft. Blaq Poet & Bumpy Kuckles "Damage"

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