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Holy Bot

Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit

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hip hop

Best Hip Hop in 2017

As for the last post in 2017, I thought of listing the best new albums and mixtapes of the year, but I haven’t really listen to that many – so that ambition went to hell. Therefore this text is going to be short.

Anyway, I’ve been mostly listened to hip hop (as always), but I think a lot of new hyped acts lacks, content, lyrics and musical visions.

I think Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage made okay releases but I never got to put them on repeat so to speak.

And I don’t think that neither 2 Chainz, Tyler, The Creator, Drake nor Big Sean released their best albums this year. And Future’s both major releases, FUTURE and HNDRXX, are overrated. (Otherwise he’s one of my favorites.)

But I think the new Run the Jewels album is good, and 4:44 by Jay-Z was a pleasant surprise. I just heard the new Lil Wayne release, but it’s too early to say anything about that yet. Still, the best album in 2017 is Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. I actually think it’s his strongest record as of today.

P.S. Next time, I’ll try to write something more useful.

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https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/292135058/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

“Hope my haters keep a special place in their heart for me”

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/275055998/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

158 BPM.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/266445111/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Here’s something.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/255725056/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

A remix I did four months ago but recently released. Nothing much to bark about.

Understanding Hip Hop Production

I imagine that most readers of this blog are aspiring producers of electronic music. Its subject are not limited to only electronics, but I haven’t mention the word “flute” or “acoustic guitar” even once since the start of it all.

Anyway, electronic music is such a wide genre and has more to do with gear and techniques rather than a certain style of music.

So I’m into music production and old analog hardware. Here’s the thing, I’m into hip hop, and mostly trapish contemporary shit for the time being. And as a vintage gear head, I feel kind of alone.

Of course I’m influenced by Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk, older Depeche Mode, Warp Records, Hyperdub, Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and so on, but equally so by hip hop producers, such as J Dilla, DJ Premier, Timbaland, RZA, The Neptunes, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow, RJD2.

And right now, I think my favorite producers/songwriters are Noah 40 Shebib and PartyNextDoor. And Noisia, and Zomby, and Burial, and perhaps Datsik around 2011.

Many electronic producers don’t seem to appreciate or understand hip hop production. I’m not talking about these people mentioned above, but about hte generic bedroom electronic music producer. They might think of hip hop as turntables and loops. But modern hip hop production uses the same gear and share many point of contacts with electronic music. (Of course, it’s kind of banal, because so do all popular styles of music.)

I don’t know, I don’t have an agenda here, I’ve just been thinking about this when browsing through different forums and groups. Most connoisseurs and nerds of synthesizers make techno, electronica, house, synthpop, industrial, edm or synthwave, not many make hip hop.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196211394/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Here’s something for you night owls.

Album of the Year

It’s the end of the year. What has happened? Well, talking about music, I think this year brought us quite a few good records, hip hop records that is.

In my humble opinion, album of the year is Drake – Nothing Was the Same. The production and sound design are extraordinary. And Drake is in his zone. More rapping, less singing than on Take Care from 2011.

Another great album is J. Cole – Born Sinner, it’s more traditional styled, but most definitely a finely crafted piece of work, except for the album cover.

The Weeknd – Kiss Land is one of this years favorites. It’s the best record since the House of Balloons back in 2011. Now sounding like an explicit Michael Jackson on a glitchy soundtrack. Real good.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels, oh man, both Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music and El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure from last year were good, but this shit is even better than the two combined. And El-P’s production hasn’t sounded this tight since 2002. Free download here.

A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP is a great album, Big Sean – Hall of Fame is a great album.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All released two really heavy albums. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris and Tyler, The Creator – Wolf.

Even if you can’t really compare Jay-Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail to Odd Future’s releases, it should be noted that this is ol’ Jigga’s best album since The Black Album from 2003.

And there’s so many more not mentioned here, e.g. A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord, Tyga – Hotel California, Big K.R.I.T. – King Remembered in Time and Pusha T – My Name Is My Name… There’s no women on this list, which is strange, I’m sure it’s my mistake and next year will be women’s reign. I did like Iggy Azalea’s singles during 2013, but there was no album released. 

For me personally, 2013 has mostly been about hip hop. Electronic music, dubstep, what have you, well I haven’t heard that many good releases in 2013. Maybe those artist are occupied on tour.

But I did like James Blake – Overgrown, it’s a beautiful record.

And then we got I Am Legion – I Am Legion; I think Noisia are some of the finest producers out there, and I really like Foreign Beggar’s two last albums, but this full length album isn’t as good as expected.

Also Destroid – The Invasion isn’t what you might have thought. Excision’s X Rated from 2011 was the bomb, but this, well, we’ve heard it before and in much better shape. Maybe I’m just being grumpy.

Another big disappointment is Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience. FutureSex/LoveSounds was a perfected pop album, but this isn’t quite as inspiring. (Perhaps I shouldn’t judge this album, because I haven’t even heard the second part of the two-piece project.) Other disappointments were Daft Punk – Random Access Memories and Kanye West – Yeezus.

P.S. Also check out Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap. Download the free mixtape.

I used to live in Hamburg, Germany, some years ago. I shared a big ass flat near Reeperbahn with some bohemians. One of them was Moritz, who later began to rap in German. Recently he sent me some vocal stems and asked me to remix Kunstrasen’s upcoming release. This is it. Or at least a first draft.

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