Monday, February 16, 2009

Hip-Hop Is Read: What's New #1- The Instrumentalists (It's A 6th Sense Beat Yo!! Review)

Written by: Ivan
Over thirty tracks deep, this free-to-download release is a thorough résumé for one of New York’s great, up-and-coming producers. Over the years, 6th Sense has built a strong repertoire with emcees such as Talib Kweli, U-N-I, Mekka Don, A.Pinks, Jelani and more, all of whom have done his beats justice. A frequent collaborator with mixtape kings such as Mick Boogie & Terry Urban, 6th Sense’s work can be heard on projects such as 1988, Viva La Hova, Before There Was Love, and various others. But perhaps his most memorable moment, as of yet, was his Common-sampling anthem “Ignite The People (Like Obama)”, a track which propelled him to the top of the Barack-pack before the bandwagon began to roll.

It’s A 6th Sense Beat Yo!! includes the instrumental to that track, along with many others which might in fact sound familiar to you. “D’Evils 2008”, for instance, is more than just a modernized revision of Jay-Z’s ‘96 classic; it’s a tailor-made beat for another BKMC, Mr. Talib Kweli, as 6th explains in the intro: “You have to understand that almost all of these instrumentals, all of these songs, were songs that I worked hand-in-hand with the artists, in the same room, creating a vibe.” It’s often been brought up in discussions, the fact that what hip hop is often lacking in this day and age is the producer-to-emcee connection. In short, we need more producers and less beat-makers. “It’s important”, 6th continues, “it shows through the music.”

I consider 6th to be an upper-tier producer from the blog-era generation of hip hop artists, the folks who recognize the importance of exposure and reaching a wide audience, by sharing their music freely for all to hear. It’s A 6th Sense Beat Yo!! is a free download not because it’s a cheap release that’ll go in one ear and out the other. It’s free ‘cause it must be heard. If I had to pick my top-five tracks from the tape, I’d probably go with “Both Nice”, “The Itis”, “Do What It Do”, “Fallen Shadows”, “Stakes Is High”, and “Chasing 1988”. Are you counting? That was six (no pun intended)! It’s that good… Yo!!

Grade: A-

There's other instrumental CDs reviewed, and 6th beat em all out.

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