A friend recently turned me on to a series by Mass Appeal called Rhythm Roulette. Producers are blindfolded and choose three random vinyls that they use to craft a beat. The videos are fascinating and do a good job artfully translating the passion and creativity contained within the minds of some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Rhythm Roulette belies a larger trend in hip-hop of producers gaining significant followings and at times even eclipsing the popularity of mainstay rappers. Some highlights of the series include:
Big Krit (raps a verse as well on this one)
Mac Miller (still lived at his dad’s house when this was filmed)
Mac Miller dons the magic of his character, Larry Fisherman, and cooks up a particularly unique beat in this episode. Fisherman has fallen off the map as of late, but there are some underrated songs floating around produced by Miller’s whimisically named alter-ego. One of these such songs is “Mellowhigh” which he produced for the OF duo, Hodgy Beats and Left Brain. The beat on this track lays low for the first 1:55 of the song and then kicks off its shoes and starts kicking you in the face after that. In the age of the soundbite, popular artists have taken to manufacturing songs that grab the listener from the first moments of the song. Mellowhigh and Fisherman employ a more understated approach on this song and the result is a complex hip-hop track worthy of at least a couple of listens.