Shady Nate – Send It Overnight and HD’s Fresh

Shady Nate – Send It Overnight (produced by AK-47)

My favorite DJ Fresh beat of ’11 wasn’t actually by DJ Fresh, but it’s totally in the same vein of ’80s emotionalism & lush enveloping production. It’s a bit more immediate (and less subtly brilliant) than a lot of Fresh joints, although that might be unfair since the current pace of hip-hop production requires a flood-the-market style, so Fresh has been forced to churn out minor variations on similar themes when a few years ago he might have been able to stick to a few basic archetypes per year.

I wasn’t blown away by the big Fresh tapes this year, with one notable exception; HD’s Fresh is one of my favorite rap records by some measure, and I think it’s because he took so many left turns on it. Rather than going for lush Jam & Lewish joints, he did unconventional flips of well-known ’70s soul breaks, but freaked them in original ways. And the other tracks on the record had really stark, dissonant harmonic beds, like the haunting “Black Politics.” Or when he goes for the melodic sweet spot as on “Come Fuck With Us,” it’s balanced by some weird, atonal spazzing synths during the verses. More than a few of the tracks — the appropriately-named “Claustrophobic,” or the title track — seem to be aiming for atmosphere and texture more than particular melodic hooks or historical references to old school R&B. It’s a more nuanced production style, almost like you can feel Fresh getting bored with more obvious maneuvers. HD is a pretty exceptional rapper, too, not the next [x, y, z] but a flexible performer whose vocal style has muscular gravitas.

HD – Come Fuck With Us feat. Kiwi The Beast, G-Dirty, J Dizzle, 600BJ, B-Stroll & Lil Joe

Oh yeah, I interviewed Fresh & Shady Nate this summer, if you missed it.

12 responses to “Shady Nate – Send It Overnight and HD’s Fresh

  1. Noce one I’l check this out.

    I thought Rue’s Tonite Show was solid but yeah Fresh & em have been playing it safe for a while now, nothing on there was touching I’m Dope or Whas Hannin. I was well disappointed in D-Lo’s recent album too even though it was great in parts, as I just kept comparing it to his first one (easily the best album those dudes have produced imo).

  2. @ Done: I enjoyed HD’s “Fresh” on the whole a lot more than Rue’s Tonite Show.

    “Black Politics” and “Claustrophobic” are really strong tracks, definitely more unconventional than the other stuff on there. I think I like “Fresh” more than Rue’s Tonite Show because “Fresh” features far more soulful tracks, and I can let it play all the way through without skipping anything.

    “Strange” with Lil Blood is one of my favorites, even though the instrumental is Cameo’s “She’s Strange” with little to no alterations (which I’m very okay with). Damn though “Fresh” is really strong all the way through. “All on You”, “Cost of Living”, “2Liters”, “I’m Just Gettin’ Back” all that soulful shit.

  3. That DB version is really fantastic! That track (and other funk in the same vein as Cameo or disco-esque instrumentals) are perfect for DB.

    I think Supa Villain did it first (contemporary mix tape rap wise) for Rich Boy, and not many other artists can fuck with Rich Boy in my opinion.

  4. Yeah I said “contemporary tape wise” because like 10-15 songs sampled “She’s Strange” by Cameo in the nineties. I guess I should be more careful of using the word “contemporary” – I was talking the last 3 years or so.

  5. Also it not being produced by Fresh makes a lot of sense considering the AOL noises that crept into the beginning. Not sure how it could get mastered like so, though I’ve heard about 8 other tracks with the same sorts of noises since. AOL executives are plotting their return to communicative domination through the world or rap albums and mix tapes!

  6. damn, i’ve been so out of it, i didn’t even know you were back blogging. been on fire lately, too… king louie is legit important…..

  7. Pingback: I got a promotion | we eat so many shrimp

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