Genre: House/Hip-Hop/Old School
II is an ambitious, 30 track album from Detroit drummer/producer Andrés. Being a man of the beat (I can only listen to rap if it’s spit over a great beat), I had always wondered what a fusion between old school hip-hop and house would sound like, or if it was even possible. Luckily, the homey Justin Jay pulled this gem out of his mysterious music stash, answering my question once and for all. An old school hip-hop/house fusion is not only feasible, it’s very real and very dope.
Things that work well: The samples. There are so many nice (and recognizable) samples in this album. Good samples make for good music, whether it’s hip-hop or house. The cutting/mixing is flawless, which is to be expected from a DJ associated with Slum Village. The bass riffs are also very well done, gluing together the samples and propelling the album forward. There’s also a foxy lady who periodically whispers to you in a sexy, chocolate voice.
Things that don’t work: The main difference between house beats and hip-hop beats in my mind is the ability of a house tune to stand by itself without lyrics. A good hip-hop beat will become dull and monotonous after a couple of minutes without someone flowing over it. If hip-hop instrumentals could stand alone there would be no need for rappers, and the beat would distract too much from the voice and the message. There’s a fine line to walk between making a beat boring and making it too overbearing, and Andrés stumbles over this line on a couple of tracks. Some of his housier tracks are cut short right when you’re starting to get into them, and some of the hip-hop beats play too long.
He gets the balance exactly right on the track “Moments of Life” though, which serves as a shining example of just how nice a hip-hop/house fusion can sound.
01 | El Ritmo De Mi Gente (ft. Lady)
02 | Change My Mind
03 | Sept Pattern (ft. Vernon Hill)
04 | Sing About It (ft. Tracy Vox & KDJ)
05 | Wish You Were Here (ft. DJ Minx)
06 | Moments In Life
07 | On My Own (Skit)
08 | Love Heals
09 | Back Home
10 | Physical Rush
11 | Sha’s Revenge
12 | Jazz After Hours
13 | Soul Brother Never Be Another
14 | Step To The Side
15 | Keep Tryin
16 | Skate Palooza, Detroit USA
17 | The Essence
18 | Body & Soul
19 | The Reminder
20 | Must Be Organized
21 | DJ Dez Live On The Cut!
22 | A New Beginning Ya’ Know
23 | You Can’t Hide
24 | After The Drummins!
25 | That What It Is!
26 | Learn To Love (ft. Monica Blaire)
27 | It’s All In The Game
28 | Walk On Through
29 | Few Of Us
30 | Hey Time To Go!