Welcome to the second mix in a monthly series highlighting local producers and beatmakers. This is not a best-of list, rather a collection of artists loosely organized by a like-minded approach to crafting sounds. Last month featured artist breaking away from the traditional Minneapolis boom-bap production style.
This month is dedicated to artists who maintain a connection with and reverence for the sample-based golden age while still expanding on the directions first wave Minneapolis producers took it. It's new wave Minneapolis production with a post-boom-bap mentality. Enjoy!
Well-respected in Twin Cities producer circles, PC has been a staple at beat battles and production showcases for years while steadily releasing his work through his production company GRTRGDS
. Taking home 3rd place in both New York
and Los Angeles'
iStandard Producer Showcase in 2011 indicates an appeal that extends beyond local borders, and after finishing grad school this May we can expect his tireless work ethic to again focus on crushing beats.
Featured track: "People," single via Soundcloud, 2012.
Beyond rapping in Audio Perm, Bobby Raps' production has achieved its own separate level of acclaim. He's won numerous local beat battles and took the regional iStandard showcase in 2011, and his recent work with Muja Messiah as Empire Status
showed his ability to carry full-length projects and work with a range of artists. He essentially lives in the studio, and you can hear it in the music.
Featured track: "I NEEDA TRY," single via Soundcloud, 2013.
Mike Frey has produced beats for a number of high-profile local albums from artists like Greg Grease, Meta, I Self Devine, and Desdamona, and released a full-length with Illuminous 3's Freez in 2011. He is also a skilled engineer, and the crispness of his beats makes this evident. Solo album Burnt Out
, a collection of beats and collaborations with local rappers, raised his profile in 2011, but there's a good chance you've heard his work gracing someone's record without even knowing it.
Featured track: "Rotation Revolution," from Burnt Out, 2011.
After concluding last month's post with an open call for producer suggestions, Mic Titan's name came up several times. He produces both under the name Soul St. Station on Soundcloud
and releases albums like the recent Music For An Unmade Film
as fictitious band The Beautiful Uglies
. The 2012 winner of the Minneapolis iStandard Producer Showcase, Mic Titan's unique approach to bass-heavy beats with a diversity of influences makes it obvious why he's got such vocal supporters.
Featured track: "Biosphere," single via Soundcloud, 2013.
Rapper Rich Garvey is yet another dually-talented local artist who recently showcased his producer side by putting out the instrumental album Road 2 Riches
. The signal boost from crafting I Self Devine's "New Shoe Smell"
highlighted his skill with sample-based boom-bap, but Road 2 Riches shines light on the variety of styles Rich is capable of handling.
Mike The Martyr
Mike The Martyr has a seemingly endless string of production credits to his name: Besides his own solo work as a rapper, he's supplied beats for AG of DITC
, Large Amount
, Triple Seis
, and of course his crew Long Doe
. Upcoming full-length projects with Muja Messiah
and Manny Phesto
promise to be excellent additions to his growing discography. His latest instrumental album Miracle On Lake Street
features all samples from Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and is a prime example of his signature soul-sampled style.
St. Paul rapper, producer, and engineer Tek has worked closely with Meta during his eleventh hour run of albums (Happy I'm Present
, Still Happy I'm Present
, and Meta May
) and has a similar knack for knocking out quality work in crunch-time situations. Bolstered by his sonic versatility, Tek's work with Jesslisten as The Co-Op
is maybe his most exemplary project. Tek produced every track on the album but the wide range of sounds represented doesn't make it obvious.
Featured track: "In The Sky," from The Co-Op, 2012.
A quick perusal of G Mo's extensive Soundcloud page
reveals a professional consistency with an adventurous diversity of styles, sometimes contained within a singular track. The songs all stand apart from one another but come bearing G Mo's standard attention to lush, full soundscapes. Tightly constructed and with a timeless soul sensibility, G Mo is a standout producer in a scene brimming with talent.
Featured track: "The Immaculate Beginning," single via Soundcloud, 2013.
If you have suggestions for artists to include in future mixes, please contact the author at [email protected]