Sunday, February 1, 2009

Flawless Hustle reviews "It's A 6th Sense Beat Yo!!"

Written by RM London
As an avid listener of hip hop instrumentals, I always try to keep up with the latest beat tapes, compilations, and promotional mixes from up and coming producers. Over the past few years, I have found that every new producer attempts to emulate their style from one of three artists—J. Dilla, Pete Rock, or Flying Lotus. Which isn’t a bad cluster of chemists to get inspiration from, but in the current climate where the majority of hip hop artists are wrapped in a copy cat identity crisis, a fresh and original presence is in dire need. Enter 6th Sense; a relatively new producer with 3 years of pad pounding experience, a progressive record label and movement with his Notherground imprint, and a professional studio producer attitude, constructing every single collaboration track face to face with the actual artist. Finally, after almost a half decade of electrifying work, 6th flosses his biggest year of production to date (2008) with his latest instrumental album, It’s a 6th Sense Beat Yo!

The album begins with the unobtrusive
“…Both Nice” beat, a 6th Sense signature tapestry equipped with a minimalist approach and wrapped in a cloak of cinematic keys and sweeping strings. While consistently drenching tracks with lush and flawless keys, this track, along with “Beyond My,” “Do What It Do,” “Hippie Robot,” “Future Music,” and “2-0-0-9,” pays tribute to 6th’s most endearing quality– the ability to make a full and thriving beat without overpowering the artist’s vocals, allowing the MC to elevate within the sounds, while becoming one with the foundation. An atypical attribute only found in the most esteemed audio architects.

The infectious sampling, tweeter thumping drum drops, and neck nodding knocks in tracks like the frat house anthem,
“Entourage,” the futuristic funky flossed, “Hey Young World,” and feel good festivities such as, “Ignite the People (Like Obama),” “Just Got Chopped” and “The Cuchifritos Groove,” prove 6th Sense can go beyond his breezy bluntquests and bring down the house with throw-ya-hands-in-the-air bangers fit for passionate poets and fans alike.

Besides his mastery of futuristic fused keys and ability to make an artist elevate with his sounds, 6th Sense also has the keen ability to serve the souls of pop-crossover crooners with his uplifting synth pop suites, like
“What You Talking About,” the Daft Punk laced, “We Don’t Stop,” radio ready, “Won’t Let You Fall,” and the smooth and sultry synths on “Just Fine” and “AM Set,” each setting various moods, while the budding loops and sweep of keys blossom into gardens of electric flowers. Simplistic, yet fertile, 6th has proven time and time again, especially on the yet to be released Both Nice record, that he is well educated in the art of constructing flawless songs that can appeal to the ears of the elite and chaste.

There is no doubt that 6th’s strongest skill set is his knowledge of the electric ivory and ability to build a multi-layered song from scratch, but as you unwrap more of his production and collaborations you can also see the versatility and intense originality in his beats. After only a few years of MPC musing, he has made a signature sound for himself and his Notherground label, which can be best heard in the quirky spaced out tones of
“Give a What,” “Beyond My,” the modernized tribute to G-Funk, “What Kinda,” “Future Music,” and Notherground MC Jelani’s, “The Proposal.” It’s songs like these, and the other cascade of electro fortified drops, that show new generation producers that there is still room for creativity and innovative tactics when twisting the 1’s and 2’s and pounding pianos. Recycled samples and loops do not have to be your identity, as 6th somewhat effortlessly proves with his habitually synthetic tunes that are free of ownership from original artists and the production idols that flipped them previously.

Despite his sometimes minimalist approach and blunted bases, 6th Sense proves on this record that originality, wisdom, versatility, and ability to make artists better can still be achieved within an up and coming artist.
It’s a 6th Sense Beat Yo! is a testament of an original and creative artist making loud noise while quietly waiting in the wings. In my opinion, producers such as, Black Milk, 14KT, Exile, and now 6th Sense, are the artists pushing hip hop forward, rather than chopping up recyclables in retrospect. That’s why you can file this under “Progressive.”