26 Oct

Black Milk – Watch Em feat Fat Ray and Que D

Been noticing a lot of hip hop of late, mainly thanks to the excellent Jose B State of Hip Hop mixes, but it's sent me back digging out some of my own collection and more and more of it's been popping up on my journey into work and i decided to jump back to 2007 for todays choice.

As always I find hip Hop quite hard to write about. Musical preference obviously is an incredibly subjective thing, but with other genres, such as house or disco you know the genre is pretty all encompassing. yet with Hip Hop it's split into so many sub genres it's unreal, and the overlap? well lets not get started. 

There is one unifying thing though no matter what style your into and that's sick MC's and killer beats and for me this track nails it on both counts: Black Milk – Watch Em feat fat Ray and Que D.

Black Milk is a Detroit Based producer MC and producer, and the track is taken from his third album Popular Demand. It may have been his third album but he'd been contributing production for Slum Village since way back in 2001, which shows how highly regarded he is as a Producer. Now it is easy to lump him in with the whole Detroit scene but his beats for me jump a little further than that. yes there is pitched Motown samples and jittery snares, but certainly on popular Demand he balances that out with slick rolling beats that could have come from east, west and pretty much anywhere but south.

It's a great album but the stand out track for me is Watch em, i love the roll of the beat, it just clicks along with the double time handclaps and the electric jazz piano sample sat low beneath the kick (find it really crazy how they've pitch shifted the sample and left in the artifacts as well) but. the thing that makes it for me though is the sheer roll on the MC's verses, it's just counterpoints the beat perfectly and the punch lines on the drop and lyrical content of the track work so well over the beat – key for me with any hip hop is the lyrics need to go somewhere and the really nice thing about this track is the way the mc's give you a journey through the rougher streets of Detroit with out coming across gangsta or cursing their heads off…

Brilliant stuff, it came out on the mighty Fat Beats and there is a bonus CD of the instrumental versions which is great in itself. check it out…

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