I’m always running round trying to find new East Coast Hip-Hop. I’m not actually sure why I like the boom-bap style more – it might be the jazzy vibes or the greater emphasis on turntablism. 3 or 4 months back I found a group via Team Backpack called Loaf Muzik.
A collective of 4 MCs – Shadow The Great, Oso Dope, Kidaf, and Shine Sinatra – they’re pretty independent in terms of how they release, and they have just dropped their first collective project: “Live From The Dungeon”. These 4 dudes who look like they fell out of the hip-hop dance documentary “Wreckin’ Shop” are joining the ranks of Joey Badass and Pro Era as the vanguard of the return of real boom-bap, winter sounding, New York hip-hop.
Production is flawless. Full of eerie samples from old black and white movies and radio, peerless scratching, and body blow rhythm drum loops, you wouldn’t be blamed if you thought you were listening to a Wu-Tang demo that’s surfaced out of nowhere. I don’t know any of the producers credited (outside of the few tracks actually produced by Shine Sinatra) but you can be sure I’ll be paying attention from now on. Managing to cook up a veritable audio feast with ingredients from Pete Rock, Dj Premier and Q-Tip with a sprinkling of Dilla and served on a bed of RZA is no easy task, but it truly brings home an analogy I love about music which stated musicians are farmers, producers are chefs, and DJs are waiters.
These guys belong in the musical equivalent of a 5 star restaurant.
Bar for bar these guys are pretty up there, too. Two things I admire in particular are that they don’t seem to try and be bogged down that much by subject matter or themes; they rap for the sake of just rapping not relying on mad stories or insane concepts. Secondly, they’ve brought back melody and spontaneous character to how they voice their lyrics, without ever verging off into sounding like wannabe singers. That kind of cartoonish, playfulness that is all too easily lost in the chase for being real or hard is really a sight for sore ears (if that’s a thing).
A greatly diverse yet still coherent project, it combines every aspect of hip-hop from New York you’d expect to hear from head nodding down the street, to vibing out with homies (and even rocking the floor in a cypher with other bboys and bgirls). They even snook some Anita Baker in there man – do you know how awesome that is?
There is a complete package to this sonically that I’m happy to hear returning to music. You can listen to the whole album without any need to skip a track. Loaf Muzik truly prove they are all 4 courses that any music foodie would lose their mind over. They’re ‘Live from the Dungeon’ for now, but hopefully live from a stage in the UK sometime soon.
Go ahead and cop it directly from them here.