The Hip Hop sounds coming out of three of America’s most celebrated cities — Los Angeles, Chicago and New York — could not be more strikingly different or more intrinsic to their specific culture and surroundings. And when breaking down the evolution of this powerful, celebrated and at times heavily scrutinized musical artform there is barely anytime to look back. The fast-paced, blink-or-you-will-miss-it rap scene doesn’t play well with nostalgia and nowhere else does this reality ring more true than in the world of Hip Hop production.
And yet, these three regions are embracing their musical roots while creating original sounds that go beyond cookie cutting beat mining.
Today such Los Angeles producers as Sounwave, Knxwledge and Drewbryd are reaching back and looking forward, embracing the classic West Coast electro grooves and gangsta funk of the past while incorporating everything from jazz to 808 slaps.
Chicago takes a more blue-collar approach, no doubt a reference to its historical rep as the blues center of the world. There is a restlessness that runs beneath the bulldozing Drill music scene that has taken its place next to the soulful production that made Kanye West a superstar. The sounds of A-Villa, Odd Couple and Stefan Ponce give testimony to Chi-Town’s understated brilliance.
New York? Hip Hop’s birthplace continues to reinvent itself touching on its larger-than-life big beats and boom bap hard knocks lineage with one eye on the southern rap scene. From the wildcard sonics of Baghdaddy to the straight-ahead attitude of Amadeus, NYC continues to adapt and add on to its rich history of boundless rap production.
There are stark differences between the producers who represent these three transformative cities. But these studio visionaries also share a stripped down authenticity.
Follow our journey as 1800® Tequila and VIBE take you "Behind the Beats" in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York to get familiar with beatmakers that are redefining the sounds of their cities with hard work, passion, and honesty. Here you won’t find any smoke and mirrors.
Just that real.