Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just Blaaaaaaaaaaze....

So we live in the time of the Super-Producer right now. At this stage in hip-hop, producers are what it is all about. Being with or without a certain producer can make or break your career and it seems people are willing to buy whole albums based on who produces it. The prime example of this being that when Jay Z announced "The Black Album" he stated it was going to be "Twelve tracks, twelve producers". Jigga seems like an artist that tapped into this idea early, and he certainly knows that if he has a dope instrumental by Kanye or The Neptunes then it's going to blow up so make it a single. Anyway, I'm deviating from the point as per usual.

Everybody has the producers they jock, for me over the last year or so it's been mainly 9th Wonder. However, one producer I've come to realise is a legend in the making over the last year or two is Just Blaze. In the last couple of years, Kanye West has been getting mad props both as a producer and as an mc. Now I love Kanye's beats (not so much his rhymes) so I liked the fact that people were jocking him hard because in turn it meant he was producing more as people wanted a piece of him. Unfortunately all this Kanye jocking (as justified as it was) meant that the other big producer at camp Roc-A-Fella was going a bit un-noticed by the hip hop crowd.

I'm going to be blatant with this next statement so you're going to have to roll with me. Over this last year (well since "College Dropout"), Just Blaze has been producing much doper shit than Kanye West. Fact.

Seriously, I do not get how people aren't talking more about Blaze, the man has been on fire (no pun intended) for a minute now and people need to realise this. He can do the whole sped up sample as well as Kanye can at times, but the beauty is that he does a lot more. Not that I'm saying Kanye doesn't, but that's his bread and butter. Just Blaze seems to be able to create magic no matter what vibe he's going for. He even managed to tap into a R&B vibe with “Never Been in Love” off Kweli’s "The Beautiful Struggle".

Over the least year and a bit the man has produced so many dope tracks that it isn't even funny. "Breathe" and "Safe 2 Say (The Incredible)" are up there with Kanye's best work (bar "Guess who’s Back"). He produced probably two of the best beats on "The Documentary", gave Jay Z a chance to shine and drop subliminal on "Dear Summer" and killed it with the emotional "Straight Path" off Bleek's" "534". I can go on again and again, like how recently he blessed Joe Budden with "Pop Off", but I won't.

The sort of level Just Blaze has been at for the last year has been incredible, and he was already dope before that. If people are going to give; Kanye West, 9th Wonder, Madlib and Dangermouse their props then Just Blaze deserves his dues as well, because right now, he's better than all of them.

So as always, I have to roll with some gems:

Fabolous - Breathe (remix Ft Jay Z)
I could have upped the original but everyone and their mother has that. I'm not sure where this came from. You just can't front on the "Breathe" beat though, that was butter. I wish Jigga had that instead of Fab.

Memphis Bleek - Yes
This cut has so much energy it's stupid. It's so good even Bleek sounds decent on it.

MF Doom - Kookies (Just Blaze remix)
Not as dope as I was expecting, but I had to throw it up anyway as I know people are going otbe curious of Doom over a Blaze beat.

Memphis Bleek - Straight path
Once again, he makes Bleek sound dope.

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