In my little virtual world on the net, I have a few bloggers that I have a “beyond the blogs” type of relationships with. We reach out to each other, work with each other, have some ideas what our “real lives” are like, that kind of thing. One blogger I’ve been close to over the years is the mighty Scholar from Souled On. Not only is it one of my favorite blogs (and it has been for at least three years now), but I respect Scholar’s taste in music. Sometimes it may differ from mine, but the skiggidy Scholar isn’t going to ask you to listen to no crap neither. So when my dude hit me up toward the end of January about a little project the site had on a burner with a new producer named KinG, and asked my opinion about the music I had to give a listen.
At first, it was just spare tracks here and there. Some where better than others, but I was hearing what Scholar was hearing in the talent level. Then he shared the first draft, and I was feeling that even more. The second draft, and even more heat was being generated. By the time the final draft was passed on to me, I knew Scholar was on to something. I’m all for helping other bloggers when they ask, and of course I’m helping my homie, but I think the music stands on it’s own and that’s the real reason why I think KinG’s “Live From Souled On California” needs to be heard.
Read more from that cat, Scholar after the jump…
A few light years ago, this virtual stranger named KinG (aka Sherwin Keith Rice) asked me for some feedback on a beat tape he’d produced. Theoretically I’m all the way down with supporting independent artists, but in practice very few deliver the caliber of material that I’d actually consider promoting. Consequently, I gave his offering a hesitant listen…and much to my surprise…Keith turned out to be a truly rare exception to my half-assed rules. His music resonated so deeply with me that it felt like I’d had the good fortune to discover water or air. (Hmmm…okay…using the elements in my metaphor may lean slightly towards the dramatic, but I knew I’d found a mad talented beatsmith at the very least.)
During chapter two, the KinG and I started corresponding frequently, and we came upon the idea of him dropping a new series of tracks tailored exclusively for the Souled On listening audience. We worked tirelessly on the project for weeks on end, with Keith digging for his own samples, as well as flipping records I offered up as source material.
One of the most essential things I learned about this man is that it’s nothing for him to roll out several beats in the same day. Our difficulty came not from his lack of ingenuity, but rather how the hell we were going to edit the project into a concise representation of his abilities. I’m a stressed-out Virgo and KinG is an unrelenting perfectionist, so I’m sure you can imagine what our process looked like at times. In the end, KinG would simply describe the whole experience/phenomenon as Live From Souled On California…and it was finally a wrap.
I won’t lie to you, kids…your humble scholar is probably biased as hell at this point. However, it’s with the utmost sincerity that I proclaim this to (easily!) be one of the finest releases I’ve heard so far this year. If you dig it half as much as we do, you’ll be bumping these tracks well into the foreseeable future.The selection consists of remixes, instrumentals, and vocal tracks constructed with a couple of Keith‘s emcee compadres. You can download the tracks individually, or the more adventurous can cop the project in its entirety right off the bat. A few of the original songs KinG used as an inspirational foundation for his beats are included in the post (along with some production notes), but you’ll have to download them separately as those mp3s weren’t packaged in the zip file.
In the future, Keith might end up charging a KinG‘s ransom for his work, but today the price of admission is…LOVE. If you like what you hear, all we ask is that you pass it along. Burn it and hand it out randomly to people on the streets…especially the ones who claim to be aliens. Toss it into the collection plate at church~ no doubt the deacon will praise you for it! Download the tracks onto your grandma’s iPod, but turn the volume up loud so she can differentiate it from Frank Sinatra. Each one reach one, and Keith should be well on his way to forming his very own cult.
Enjoy this ridiculously ill music, children…
suited for the masses,
yet fit for a KinG.
Download all of Live From Souled On California in a zip file
Read about the samples and get KinG’s insight on the rest of the post