5 Producers Who Are Reviving The Old School 5 Producers Who Are Reviving The Old School

5 Producers Who Are Reviving The Old School

In a Hip-Hop world where everything is seemingly centered around 808s and new wave synth lines you can’t blame someone for missing organic sounding bass lines and crackling vinyl that call to mind the golden age of A Tribe Called Quest, Dilla, Common, De La Soul, and so, so many more. And even if you’re not into that scene it’s still nice to get some musical diversity in your life. As a result we put together a small sampler of some of the producers who will make a night in your headphones just as fun as one at the club.

5. Vanilla
Vanilla is a UK based producer who’s latest release “Origin” was inspired by a trip to Japan and Samurai Champloo. As a result you have one of the finest examples of getting clean mixes on sample based music with his drum loops sitting right in the pocket; the vocal samples are over your head and soulful, the bass line carrying you along the soundscape. Vanilla has a large collection of music on his Bandcamp that is all pretty much available for free since he does so much sampling work, but it feels almost criminal not to give him something. Anything.

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4. Kirk Knight
Pro Era representative playing the dual role of producer and emcee, Kirk Knight is something like a modern day Q-Tip. You no doubt have to respect his production and his skills on the mic are no joke but the greatest aspect to his music is the vision. His release this year “Late Knight Special” was a cohesive work of art that had the grit of a Wu Tang joint (Brokeland) or the smoothness and introspection of a Pharcyde record (Start Running). He is definitely not limited to old school drum loops and basslines as shown on tracks such as “I Know” but I personally feel he shines brightest when working with the influences he so clearly has made part of his muscle memory. Chopping loops is just in this mans blood.

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3. Statik Selektah
Statik Selektah is from Boston and is a revivalist in the most traditional sense. His music is filled with soulful vibes and groovy jazz horns. It’s not often he strays from that script and yet he never sounds stale. The biggest reason for this is that he’s always working with new artists and comparing their varying flows and styles against his time-honored backdrops, a quality of a true peoples producer.

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2. Knxwledge
Originally from New Jersey, Knxwledge moved to LA once his career started to develop and he signed with Stones Throw. Noted Hip-Hop label for it’s roots in creativity and audiophile leaning ways. He owns thousands of records and has sampled everything from Al Green to Frank Ocean. With credits on “To Pimp A Butterfly” & “1999” you probably have heard Knx’s trademark choppy sampling style and un-quantized  drums that he all does through Ableton. His music is surreal and comes out of left field, he is one of the most original cats in the game right now, but also one of the more elusive. His Bandcamp page though could one day become an online museum as it is FILLED with works of art. Seriously try and listen to everything on there, it’ll probably take you an entire lifetime, even without any of the songs being longer than two minutes.

Suggested Listening:

1. Ohbliv
Ohbliv is A Richmond, Virginia native. He makes soulful music that’ll touch your heart due to the heavy doses of nostalgia he has infused in his music and lifestyle. Often his beats that are longer than two minutes have two parts to them, making him particularly enjoyable to listen to for those who don’t usually like the repetitiveness of instrumental music. According to his twitter page he defines his specific genre as “Surrealist Creator | Moor Music DirteeSoulHop | VibeMusicCollective | Jellowstone | Thrashflow”. I would add Nostalgist to that as well.

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