Sunday, February 10, 2008

(Beats of High Quality)

What's up, fam? I haven't done a big post like this in awhile so I wanted to make it special (think of it as a late Christmas present) since I haven't made a real post in quite some time (before Christmas break). Nawl and Espiv may have noticed that I had a couple of ideas and drafts up in our "Posts" section, but none that I actually made anything out of. I had a "Best Of Vinyl" idea, which was going to be a compilation of recent classic hip-hop instrumentals I got from vinyl, but I get so much vinyl that the post would have been too huge for my schedule to handle (college). So today I started doing some searching and found that (what the...?) we don't have that much RJD2 uploaded. There are some things, but we're missing the biggest pieces to his collection. So anyways, let's get rolling...

First off, this is a long post, so I uploaded two instrumentals for your listening pleasure, both by RJD2.

Seasons (Instrumental)
Final Frontier (Remix) (Instrumental)

Moving on... I wanted to go above and beyond and include more than just RJD2's mainstream releases like "Deadringer", "The Horror", etc. so I uploaded 3 vinyls and an instrumental mix. All of these vinyls are "missing" tracks, but that's only because I have the "missing" tracks on other releases like "In Rare Form (Unreleased Instrumentals) Volume 2", which is included in this post. But anyways, now that the disclaimer is out of the way... The first vinyl is the "Exotic Talk 12". The "Exotic Talk 12" is really dope. It has an alternate version of the track "Exotic Talk" and two tracks exclusive to this vinyl, "Get Off My Spaceship Bitch" and "The Move".

(Click image to download)

Speaking of dope tracks, the next vinyl is one that includes one of my favorite tracks, "June" by Copywrite. This vinyl is fucked up because it didn't come with two tracks when I got it, but forget that. "June" is so ill. RJD2 is on the boards and he sets the mood, and when Copy gets on the mic, he rips it. iCON the Mic King criticized this track profusely during his beef with Copy, but I don't think iCON was right at all. Copy leaves his punchline approach behind and demolishes the track with introspection. I didn't know Copywrite was this deep, and it made me check his "The High Exalted", which is definitely worth a listen. Two RJD2 instrumentals are included here, both of which deserve as much praise as the vocal versions of "June".

(Click the image to download)

Now for my favorite 12" ever. The "Here's What's Left 12". This includes a lot of epic shit. First of all, the vocal version of "Here's What's Left" is beautiful. I don't know who that is crooning over RJD2's genius instrumental, but it cools the soul. Turn this one up, light a blunt, and kick back. The instrumental version is nice to have, but isn't quite as good as the vocal version. "Bonus Beat" and "Bonus Treat" are like 20 seconds each, but still dope. Those two are exclusive to this 12". Along with this comes a remix for "2 More Dead" that's not as good as the original, but still nice.

(Click image to download)

Okay, that's all of the vinyl. Now it's on to bigger things. First up is an exclusive CD that was included with preorders for "Since We Last Spoke". This only has two tracks, each mixes, each about 15 minutes long. Now, RJD2 is amazing alone, but what if you assign one of the best electronic DJs to mix his work? Diplo mixes a bunch of RJD2's work, and does a damn fine job. He adds his own signature style to some mixes so it's really dope. That is enough to make my mouth water, but for the second track, a mysterious group called the Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra mixes the second song. All I know about this group is that it's composed of DJ Haul and Mason, and that they do live instrumentation. Either way, whoever the fuck they are, they do a damn good job of mixing RJD2's shit.

(Click image to download)

Alright, so enough of the rare shit. Now we're going into more of RJD2's more well-known releases. These are releases that I consider some of the best instrumental hip-hop period. First is RJD2's first solo release, "Deadringer". I love this release; it has unlimited play value and sounds like a mature release, not a debut. When I first heard this album I was like, "What other albums has this guy done?" But to my surprise, this guy had only been around for about 4 years prior to this release, with only about 5-10 tracks floating around between 1998 and 2002. This is an incredible release in it's own right; but since this is a first release that rivals most instrumental albums today, this album is quite an achievement.

(Click image to download)

So there's RJD2's first release, which came out of left field and made numerous 2002 top ten lists, and then there's RJD2's 2003 release, "The Horror", that stuns everyone again, and puts him on 2003's top ten lists. And what is it that makes this release so stunning? RJD2 did it with b-sides and remixes. He took old material from "Deadringer" and b-sides and remixed them, grabbed a bunch of b-sides and compiled them, released what should have been a small compilation, and made it on to almost every indie top ten list that year. That's how good this guy is; he didn't even try to make it on the top ten lists of 2003 but still did. Holy shit, right?!

(Click image to download)

Let me start off this segment by saying that I love "Since We Last Spoke". But I hate it. It is definitely a different direction than "Deadringer". It's a more rock-influenced direction. But that's not why I hate it. Was it this album that led to "The Third Hand"? I don't know. But take a look at the facts: "Deadringer" (hip-hop and funk-influenced), "The Horror" (hip-hop and funk-influenced), "Since We Last Spoke" (hip-hop, funk, and rock-influenced), and "The Third Hand" (electro-pop influenced
). I think that "Since We Last Spoke" represents a slide, or a change in direction towards different things. Now I will say this... "Since We Last Spoke" is not as good as "Deadringer". But that doesn't mean it isn't a phenomenal album. This album is a step away from his DJ Shadow-esque style, but that gives it a little bit more individuality.

(Click image to download)

Besides releasing a lot of classic albums, and because of classic albums, RJD2 is quite a sought after producer. He has produced for eclectic artists to hardcore rappers to spoken-word artists, matching their vocals with his production beautifully each time. So "In Rare Form (Unreleased Instrumentals)" are instrumentals taken from his productions for artists like The Weatherman, Cannibal Ox, etc. Somewhere I picked up this gem though, "In Rare Form (Unreleased Instrumentals) Volume 2". I would have posted the first part in the series but it was posted on this site before so I figured almost everyone had it. This release is really amazing though. These are vintage instrumentals (no loops) from what it sounds like, and are damn good instrumentals as well. Classics are all over this one. There's a lot of remixes by RJD2, so a lot of goodness.

In Rare Form (Unreleased Instrumentals) Volume 2

"The Third Hand" is a release that got a lot of negative press. No one liked it. No one. I didn't read any positive reviews for it. This is what I fucking meant! Deterioration! "The Third Hand" is possibly the most disappointing album I ever had the misfortune to listen to. I got an advance of it, so I listened to it before anyone could warn me, but I wish someone could've. I almost cried when I heard what happened to RJD2. As explained earlier, he went electro-pop. I don't know if you've ever heard electro-pop, but if you like the boom bap beats on this site, than you will want to throw up if you hear "The Third Hand". That being said, "The Third Hand Instrumentals" isn't a bad album by any means. The mistake people make is that the instrumentals are shitty because they hear RJD2 whining over them. But give this album a listen and tell me what you think. I think of this album as an electronic album. It's different than any of RJD2's other releases, but it has it's moments, and is definitely worth having in your collection. Just please... Don't make the mistake of giving the vocal version, "The Third Hand", a chance. It's not worth it.

(Click image to download)

Discogs Links:
Exotic Talk 12"
June/The Proxy 12"
Here's What's Left 12"
The Mashed Up Mixes
The Horror
Since We Last Spoke
The Third Hand Instrumentals


freshhiphop said...

I loved the vocal version of "The Third Hand," I dont know what youre talking about it.

But thanks for the uploads.

Illusion said...

The Third Hand was mad disappointing. Constantly made fun of and brought up in jokes amongst me and my friends, haha.

RJD2's a really, really good producer, with so much variety in his work, and i honestly don't see how so many people, and fans of good hip-hop, DON'T like him.

Oh well, this is a really great post, and i can round out my collection now.

Good looks, Seven.


Kenny Bloggins said...

I believe the vocal on Here's Whats Left, is actually from the sample itself.
The Intruders- Memories are Here To Stay.

Illusion said...

BTW, if you wanted a complete discography, this is missing Act 2 off of the Okayplayer True Notes compilation, Holy Toldeo from the Holy Toldeo single, I Really Like Your Def Jux Baby Tee from one of the Def Jux Presents albums, De'laouette off the XL8R Presents WANTED album, the short 2 inute tracks from Marc Ecko's Getting Up soundtrack, True Confessions from Urban Renewal Program and Rain and Find You out from the 'Your Face or Your Kneecaps' mix.

All but the last 2 can be found on itunes.

I like to think i have a pretty complete RJD2 collection, tell me if i'm missing any other tracks.

Seven Leaf said...

How about you upload those

EricSepulveda said...

yeah that would be dope if you could upload the rest of rjd2s discog.

great post though.

Aris said...

I love the fact that these are available, but ZShare has totally stopped producing for me. It seems all other DL programs work except the Z. Any help is appreciated as always.

Viagra Online said...

with this music I want to quote an old friend and say "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum" yeah that right is time to put into a test my 22RD sound system, and of course my neighbors ears too.

rxmex said...

There are many albums that I haven't listened to their music, but thanks for the recommendation.