Manage a trois

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Aight, I’ve been trying to slow my head-nod down long enough to listen beyond the beats. It’s tough, believe that. You know, the conspiracy theorist in me (and this hip hop ya’ll, the music where nobody but everyone dies), has me thinking that Dilla ghost produced (pun implied) some of these beats. The drums (particularly snares) are too familiar. Then I hear how Black flows.

A number of Detroit emcess/(producers) have a similar mic presence. T3, Dilla, Ta’Raach, Black Milk – they all have that punchy rhythm that hits at the right points throughout the beat. Dilla was the master of this – hitting at the kick, or pausing with beat; Black Milk brings a similar style on Popular Demand. No where is this more evident than on “Three+Sum,” “Action,” & “Take It There.” That latter is complete will “Let’s Go’s” & “Oh’s.” Of “Three+Sum,” it’s good to see a Detroit emcee come through with the manage a track (listen to Fantastic Vols. 1 or 2, Welcome to Detroit, and anything by Frank & Dank).

I’m not a producer (but I know one to ask so don’t test me), but it’s as if some producers (I speak generally) know their beats so well, that their lyrics aren’t lyrics; they are part of the beat. I watch those videos Kyle posted of BM toying around with a beat, and he’s nodding his head; listening for the slightest sound as he alters the bass’s timing here and there. The way he rhymes at times on PD, how he emphasizes sounds, and pauses – he, much like Dilla mastered, is part of the beat…I think that is the overall impression I get about BP lyrically. Not that there is some sociological message, or even that he’s glorifying some gangster image; and while the club, drink, and woman(izing) talk is present, it is ancillary to his real mission – the beats. BP, in the end (for me), is a beat tape.

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One Response to “Manage a trois”

  1. Shades of Dilla « Trading Tapes Says:

    […] is going to be a recurring theme here, and I don’t think that it’s by accident, but I agree with Pete that some of the Dilla-isms on Popular Demand are downright […]

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