As “privileged” (I use that word very loosely) bloggers/writers we’re able to get our hands on advances, usually many months prior to their release. Illastrate (better known as the production half of Black Noise, which also features the equally potent Aarophat on the mic) sent over a “preview” tracks to accompany his appearance on The Scrunchface Show, waaaay back in September. Throughout Illa’s appearance on the show he briefly hinted on his alter ego/persona Eddie Coleman, as we hipped you to snippets of “Beautiful” which would later transform into the Nas-sampled and first single from Illa’s first official instrumental opus “Eddie Coleman’s Friday Night Theme Music”, “Inner G” (a clever play on Nas’ line “I’m lovin your energy“). Just one listen to “Inner G” and Dart, stMic and I couldn’t wait to hear more from one of the finest beatsmiths, who coincidentally (much like the subject of Monday’s review, Clan Destined) also reps the A-T-L. To take it one step further, just to show you how much I believe in Illa’s production work and talents, peep who walked away with my top album honors for 2009!
One of the most slept-on, overlooked and underrated producers in the game, Illastrate blazed trails on the “Black Noise” LP with cuts such as the sparse, echoing “Driftin”, the anthemic “Higher” (Revolution) and the straight-up, block-shaking “Midwest Kids”, which then, featured a virtually unknown Boog Brown. With Eddie Coleman’s “Friday Night Theme Music”, Illa aims to provide you with the appropriate soundtrack to set you at ease, whether it’s that early Friday/Saturday evening or just some good ol’ listening product to accompany the preferred drink/smoke of your selection. And, if I may, he does one helluva’ job doing so! “Eddie Coleman’s Friday Night Theme Music” can set you at ease (see: “Inner G”), amp you up (see the bonus cut “No Antidote”) or make you vibe out to a WHAM! flip (yes, I’m talkin’ George Michael, with “Toast Up”) in ways you never thought were imaginable! The instrumental expedition blends together seamlessly if not, effortlessly. One beef that I usually have about most instrumental LPs, is their length. I really don’t wanna’ hear a 4 minute track with no noticeable flips or variances. A four of five minute loop just isn’t a good look, and Illastrate keeps each track short but sweet on the neck-snapping “Shinin Thru”, but on the same token, if you’re gonna’ lace a 5-minute instrumental, do it right, as Illa did with the sultry, elegant “Enjoy Yourself”.
Right now, if you’d ask me whom my top 3 producers in the game are right, I’d have no trouble naming off (in no particular order), IMAKEMADBEATS, Apollo Brown and Illastrate (although, these Clan Destined cats are killin’ ish as well! Coincidentally, Illa also produced two cuts on the C.D. “Self Titled” LP). And while Illa has a full-length LP in the works with the versatile Senor Kaos, it’d truly behoof you to hip yourself to the production mastering of this cat, sooner than later! One of my favorite instrumental LPs in recent memory, you can hit the skip to preview and purchase “Eddie Coleman’s Friday Night Theme Music”…Toast Up!!