Dudley Perkins – “A Lil’ Light”

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Dudley Perkins – A Lil’ Light
Stones Throw (2003)

Reflecting on some of the points that Kyle & I have made about hip hop since TT’s inception, I think Dudley Perkin’s A Lil’ Light is a good follow up; at the very least, it works as an effective contrast to some of the points we made about hip hop as an increasingly image-oriented genre. Hence, I chose A Lil’ Light for a few reasons:

1) Madlib production – Other than Dilla, there a few producers I respect more than Madlib. His sound is hard to sum up – funk & jazz samples; crazy drums; synth-[insert instrument]; and just when you think you figured him out, he’s using live instruments, simultaneously with samples. For some, his sound is an acquired taste (e.g. YNQ); while projects like Lootpack’s Soundpieces: Da Antidote! are palatable upon one listen. Needless to say, Madlib (and his numerous aliases) know music.

2) Dudley Perkins – I got into DP/Declaime only within the previous 2 or so years. I got to the point where I needed as much Madlib as I could get so as I worked my way through his production credits (in no particular order), I got to Declaime’s Andsoitisaid (which I almost picked for this selection). Declaime (Dudley’s emcee alias) is unorthodox, but it’s this quality that makes him perfect for Madlib beats. His voice quality reminds me of Ol’ Dirty Bastard if he could carry a note (which isn’t saying much because Dudley can’t really carry a note himself). It’s his seeming stream-of-consciousness flow that really catches my ear and compliments Madlib’s equally free association-esque production.

3) The marriage of Madlib’s production and Dudley’s delivery and subject matter – On the surface, it sounds like Dudley is as times piecing random thoughts together (a la MF Doom). Enhanced with the production, the album dips into cacophonous abstraction: with synthesized voices; interrupted falsetto chords; talks of prophesy. But then it starts to sound normal…

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