“For Da Family” from “Beats From The 90′s”
“Jam On It” from “Beats From The 90′s”
Dropping Digitally June 24th
The nineties. If you were there for them, you want to go back and experience it all over again. The sounds, the lyrics, the beats, the music, it all was just a special time in hip hop. A lot of us old dinosaurs can’t get out of the past, so when something titled Beat’s From The 90′scomes across our desk, it gets our attention. K-Def, the author of one of my all-time favorite instrumental/concept albums, “Willie Bobo The Fool”, is back with his newest release “Beat’s From The 90′s”. Most of the thirty and over hip hop heads should remember K-Def, who was monumental in releasing a slew of classic records in the early/mid 90′s. He was behind Lord of the Undergrounds “Funky Child” and “Chief Rocka” along with “Grand Groove” from Tragedy’s “Saga of a Hoodlum” along with the whole Real Live album. K-Def has long been greatly underrated in the grand scheme of things as far as his production goes. There was the World Renown album that has never seen a proper release, a bootleg version of Nas’ “Street Dreams” produced by K-Def that is amazing, and other tidbits found here and there that lead us to believe that he had some music in the vaults that we had yet to have heard. That was until now. K-Def has pulled some tasty treats out of the vaults and released them in the form of “Beats From The 90′s”.
The project is strictly of the instrumental variety. You won’t find any rhymes being dropped or skits or any of that nonsense, it’s just straight up beats with the sound that you grew up loving in the 90′s. The premise of this project is that these tracks were produced back in the 90′s on K-Def’s MPC 3000 & his S-3000 machines. They were lost, only to be rediscovered in a bag of dusty dats. You immediately realize that you are in for a treat when you the albums first track,“Been There”, kicks in. The nostalgia that oozes out of the tracks bassline and strings are on the level that could bring a tear to any hard core b-boy. The track is pieced together with several familiar, yet sonically altered sounds. Before moving on to “Ain’t No Crime”, if you don’t have top notch headphones, car stereo or computer speakers, push stop and go get some, because to fully appreciate the track, you need to “feel” this beat. When it kicks into the intro, you swear it’s going to be a DITC knock off, but then the bottom kicks in. We are talking thick, gooey kick drums. The shit is the kind of knock that Redman used to talk about, it would bump in the trunk something furious. That’s just what this album is too, that good old fashion boom bap. Another personal favorite of mine is “Gettin’ Hot“, which K-Def uses some familiar samples, but you have to remember this was recorded back in the 90′s, so he kind of beat cats to the punch on some of these, with a beautiful guitar sample, it’s rolling bassline, a true head nodder. “For Da Family” sounds like it could have belonged on “The Turnaround…”, and I’m not talking reject material either. The thick and chunky “Jam On It” is another with rolling bass that supplies that boom-bap feel. Listening to this album makes one wonder what could’ve been with some of the right artists over the tracks. Going through the album, you’ll hear beats that make you wish so-n-so got over on the track. “Inner City Blues” immediately made me think of Redman and how dope he would sound over the track. What could have been?
I can’t really find a knock on any of K-Def’s beats or Beats From The 90′s. Obviously some are better than others, but that’s not a bad thing at all. I’m not usually the biggest fan of instrumental albums, although I do like finding a good one and putting it on while I’m writing or playing the Playstation, but this album is not your average instrumental album. Beats From The 90′s just brings back that feeling of why I loved hip hop in the first place. The loud drums, the thick deep bass, the sharp snares, it’s all found on this album, and it’s all done with precision and it’ll having you wishing it was ’94 again.