88-Keys-Beats No More 2

The original 26-track Beats No More was a really surprising and enjoyable listen, packed with some rather good unmixed/unfinished instrumentals all made available for free. 88 follows that up with BNM2, and once again comes through with some great material.

Unlike its predecessor, the instrumentals on BNM2 have been mixed, and hence the instrumentals have a higher degree of ‘finality’ and quality about them. They’re just as good as the ones on BNM2, and when coupled with a more diverse set of production styles across the 27 tracks (including a Roger Troutman-esque performance!), you’ve got another very solid project on your hands.

You can listen to/buy the whole thing in the embedded player, and I think it’s also available on iTunes for those of you who’d rather go that route. I’d also recommend reading 88′s write-up for the project too, he’s always got interesting stories to tell. Enjoy!

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

88-Keys-Beats No More

Big fan of 88-Keys, and though these days he doesn’t seem to be as active as he once was, he’s still one of the better producers in the game on his day, with his 2008 debut solo album being a particular highlight.

Interesting story to this one, which you can read in full here. The basic outline is that the weather where he was prevented him going out to buy a new hard drive, so he had to delete some beats off another one: cue this release, made up of ‘unfinished “ideas” I laid down 7+ years ago & never went back to’, which he admits are ‘by no means the freshest batch of beats you’ve ever heard or anything’.

However, 88′s modesty belies the quality here as it’s actually a pretty good collection, with lots of stuff I’d love to hear finished/extended. What’s very apparent and intriguing throughout is the similarity to Dilla’s production style from the same sort of era, giving this a nice early-00′s throwback feel. A genuinely enjoyable listen, and worth giving a go for some very solid chillout instrumental shorts.

Also, for the idiots: to download, in the player click ‘tracks’ and…download.

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

John Regan-Sorry I'm Late [Album]

This is the debut solo album release from 24-year old Baltimore born emcee John Regan. It features the likes of Marsha Ambrosius, Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli (you can grab that collab here), Needlz, Nottz, 88-Keys, PackFM, Ill Bill, Juganot, Kidz in the Hall, Jaiden and more. Certainly an eye-catching lineup for an underground artist such as Regan, and gives you an idea that the album is going to be something worth taking note of.

I’ve only managed to give it a quick listen, but it certainly does impress and comes across as an album that you’d expect from a far more established artist, which is a credit to the talent Regan clearly has. The album describes his struggles at trying to make it in the hip-hop game, whilst having to balance a family life at the same time. It’s available for purchase on iTunes/Amazon now, but before you take the plunge, you can listen to the full album for free here (My favourite track has to be the superb All I Got To Give).

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

Common-Testify, The 88-Keys Remix

Very interesting one. There’s a pretty good backstory to this one which you can read in full at 88-Keys’ place here. Small excerpt below:

“I turned over this remix rather fast but never finished it because I couldn’t come up with a hook for it. I played it for Kanye & he liked this a lot. So much, in fact, that he was going to reach out to Brandy to lay a hook down on this. Unfortunately for me, Common didn’t feel this half as much as ‘Ye did. So I got the word back from Common & Derek (his management) while they were in Japan that they were going to pass on it. It’s cool though. They are all still my brothers. No love lost. I only hated him for like 5 minutes. *ha*”.

Common-Testify (88-Keys Hand on the Bible Remix)

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

Kidz In The Hall, 88-Keys, Izza Kizza & Donnis Collab

That is not just a list of dope upcomers, but is actually the line-up for the Crowd Control Tour going down in the US. To commemorate that, they’ve dropped a posse cut for us all to enjoy. I’ve only given it a brief listen so far, but it sounded really good and had a nice energy about it. All these guys can spit too, so I don’t expect the verses to be lacking either.

Kidz In The Hall, 88-Keys, Izza Kizza & Donnis-Crowd Control

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

Quick Blast: Bun B/88-Keys/Talib Kweli/Colin Munroe

Much like the other recent Bun-B track I posted (which also happened to feature Colin Munroe) this has a stellar line up. With 88-Keys and Talib Kweli assisting, you know it’s going to be pretty decent.

Don’t Die ft. 88-Keys, Talib Kweli & Colin Munroe

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.

88-Keys-Baggage Claim

This is SO brilliant. My two favourite things combined, Lost and music!

88-Keys, who I had no idea was such a Lost fan and has been laying low since the release of his superb debut album, has dropped a track dedicated to/based on the wonderful TV show. It’s very cleverly done, and well-produced too. An absolute must for Lost fans and hip-hop fans alike.

(If you want to check out the lyrics, head over to 88-Keys’ place to get a look)

88-Keys-Baggage Claim

Share this post or we'll inflict pain on you.