For about ten years, Jerry Famolari’s Hydra Records label was responsible for putting out a whole bunch of dope hardcore east coast records until its unfortunate closure last year. Besides releasing three excellent Screwball albums, Hydra is probably best remembered for its long-running series of instrumental albums, aptly entitled Hydrabeats.
I don’t know about y’all, but beat albums usually don’t do a whole bunch for me. I don’t care how many accolades get thrown at DJ Shadow, RJD2 etc, their records send me to sleep. However, while I can’t deny that the Hydrabeats records maybe would have been more interesting with cats rapping on them, most of them are more than worthwhile. It doesn’t hurt that Jerry F managed to get some of the cream of the east coast beatmaking crop to submit chapters in the catalogue.
I own most of these records, but due to time constraints I didn’t have the chance to dub them all off for my man Travis to upload. So you’ll notice a few gaps here, which I’d be most grateful for one of you kind readers to upload.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand, simplicity is the key to many of the Hydrabeats instrumentals. Ill loops backed by hard-hitting drum programming is the predominant modus operandi here, perfect for even the most amateur rapper to do their very best Prodigy impersonations to. Even if you don’t think you’re the next Kool G Rap, these joints are heavy on the head-nod factor making them perfect for rocking in your walkman or one-door Hyundai.
I was gonna write a quick rundown on each Hydrabeats instalment or at least cover the producers involved (Beatnuts, Godfather Don, Ghetto Pros, Kid Called Roots, Nick Wiz etc), but my work at the animal husbandry lab has really been eating up a lot of my time lately so I’ll leave it to you to make up your own minds. I will say, however, that my favorite in the series is the Nick Wiz one (Hydrabeats 12). For anyone not in the know, Nick produced the majority of both the Cella Dwellas albums in addition to cooking up joints for Rakim, Cocoa Brovaz Smif n Wessun, Chubb Rock, Main One etc. Nick has some of the dopest beat skills in hip hop hands down, don’t sleep.
Polarity - (apologies for the half-assed post and big up to Travis for the broadband assist and thanks to those such as Strictly Beats for filling in the gaps.)
|A3||1 Time Lullabye|
|A6||Rip Lil’ Spunk|
|B1||On My Way|
Hydra Beats Vol 2: E-Boogie (Partial, anyone has the whole thing, hook it up)
|B1||Drop Top Ride|