Music 

THE PRODUCERS: MAPPING THE INFLUENCES OF BOSTON’S UP-AND-COMING BEATMAKERS

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As one of hip-hop’s undisputed underground epicenters for in excess of two decades, Boston and its myriad musical institutions have spawned countless legendary beatmakers. From the Jonzun Crew, to Joe Mansfield and D-Tension, to Edan, Matty Trump, and G-Squared, to Nelly Protools and Lu Balz, to C-Lance, Reel Drama, Rain, and Arcitype, the sounds behind Hub rap continue to ring loudly, even internationally.

And there are always new cats stepping up. After hearing about next Tuesday’s Hot Music Pro beat battle at the Middle East, we thought it was a ripe opportunity to survey the new generation of board junkies to ask which artists have inspired their production through the years. From there, we mapped their industry heroes, traced which roots they had in common, and cooked together this extensive multimedia glimpse of what Tuesday night might sound like.

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We asked all 12 contestants to tell us (briefly) about their:

1 – Biggest overall musical influence (group, band, solo artist, producer, etc.)

2 – Biggest hip-hop producer influence

3 – Biggest non-hip-hop producer influence

Here’s how they responded:

MODULOKTOPUS

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Moduloktopus on Soundcloud

1 – Frank Zappa
“Never puts a lid on imagination, authenticity, and modern marvels.”

2 – Mr Carmack
“My Hawaiian J Dilla of modern times, heavy and soulful in his delivery [and] respected by the greats.”

3 – David Pensado
“For creating a community of engineers and producers who share their wisdom and experience to push all generations forward.”

PROMO 4 from Montage C on Vimeo.

TEDDY ROXPIN

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Teddy Roxpin on Soundcloud

1 – The Beatles
“My dad played them everywhere we went. That was pretty much my introduction to music overall.”

2 – J Dilla
“Hands-down. His ear for samples and the way he chopped them was incredible. His sound will never be topped. RIP.”

3 – Timbaland
“Even though he’s a hip-hop producer, he’s also one of the best producers in pop and r&b. He inspired me to try new things in music.”

PROMO 6 from Montage C on Vimeo.

WES MITCH

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Wes Mitch on Soundcloud

1 – Ludacris
“Usually people say their biggest influences are Biggie, Pac, or Jay-Z. I feel its kinda a cliche now.”

2 – Scott Storch
“He’s the first producer I started to follow and the sole reason why I wanted to create music.”

3 – Dr. Luke
“Definitely the hottest pop/hip-hop producer out right now.”

ROBERT MATHIS

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Robert Mathis on Soundcloud

1 – My Cousin
“He introduced me to the art called beat production, when he allowed me to produce for him.”

2 – Kanye West
“I don’t have a specific producer who influences me in music. I like it all and admire that a simple beat can be a banger. But if I had to choose I’d have to go with Kanye.”

JON GLASS

Jon Glass photo

Jon Glass on Soundcloud

1 – Atmosphere
“From the production to the lyrics, they always give you something that you can relate to, and Slug’s imagery is amazing.”

2 – DJ Premier
“Premo is hip-hop! Simple as that! He just makes you feel a certain way when the beat drops. You just can’t help but move to it.”

3 – Paul McCartney
“Paul’s arrangements, progressions, and melodies were insane, and he never even knew how to read music.”

PROMO 3 from Montage C on Vimeo.

SONICK

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SoNick on Soundcloud

1 – Bassnectar
“God as far as I’m concerned. His Production. Live Shows. Artwork. And overall message. He brings it together the right way.”

2 – Hit Boy
“Everything he does is at the highest level, never sounds the same and he can work with anyone to make a banger.”

3 – Diplo
“He balances both hip-hop and electronic music as a DJ and producer. Which is what I’m after.”

PROMO 2 from Montage C on Vimeo.

DESKHOP

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Deskhop on Soundcloud

1 – Girl Talk
“He introduced me to me glitch, digital manipulation, and the idea of creating new music out of micro-samples from other songs.”

2 – Dr. Dre
“He knows how to fill out the mix with as few elements as possible.”

3 – Dr. Luke
“He’s the sound of electronic-influenced pop music.”

EVILLDEWER

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EvillDewer on Soundcloud

2 – DJ Premier
“I’m basically a seasoning salt batch of producers combined, like Prince Paul, RZA, and Premo to current beat kings Flying Lotus and Madlib.”

PROMO 1 from Montage C on Vimeo.

LIGHTFOOT

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Lightfoot on Soundcloud

1 – MF Doom
“He was the catalyst for my discovery of hip hop. I was a latecomer to the culture, so Doom was my first real exposure to all of that.”

2 – Dr. Dre
“The dude has an incredible ear, an iconic sound, and has inspired a lot (if not all) of the hip-hop producers that I look up to.”

3 – Teo Macero
“When I think back on my childhood, Kind of Blue is the soundtrack. I listen to that record a lot. Still one of my favorite albums.”

PROMO 8 from Montage C on Vimeo.

HEADPHAZE

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Headphaze on Soundcloud

1 – Diplo
“He’s involved so much over the years and his taste in music is on point.”

2 – Kendrick Lamar
“The guy’s flow is impeccable. Oh and Earl Sweatshirt too.”

3 – Chocolate Puma
“Been releasing some sick tracks lately so they’re definitely on our top list of producers we follow.”

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DAN MAC

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Dan Mac on Soundcloud

1 – Toro Y Moi
“Every time he releases new music I’m instantly brought back to a time in my life where nothing meant more to me than discovering new and inspiring music. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the heavy sounds of some of today’s electronic music, I just throw on some Toro and relax.”

2 – DJ Premier
“Despite the fact that most of my music sounds nothing the gritty boom-bap production of DJ Premier, I realized how big of an impact he had on me and my obsession with chopping and discovering obscure samples. He is the reason why I got a USB turntable and an Akai MPD24 as a kid.”

PROMO 5 from Montage C on Vimeo.

HIFADILITY

HIFADILITY

Hifadility on Soundcloud

1 – Bob Marley
“I really respect his ability to use music as a tool to address issues of the political economic space. As well as being able to make people sing and dance, he had a vision of the world that was trenched in being able to make a difference in the world.”

2 – J Dilla
“I respect his ability to make soulful jazzy hip-hop. In a time where so much of music was being influenced by technology, he found a way to blend music technology and the soulful emotional human aspects.”

3 – Herbie Hancock
“For his ability to compose and produce jazz greats. Also for being one of the first jazz musicians to collaborate with a hip-hop group! Still to this day he is known for his contributions to jazz and music world wide.”

[BOSTON'S NEXT HOT MUSIC PRODUCER. MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS. 472 MASS AVE., CAMBRIDGE. TUE 3.18/8PM/$10. MIDEASTCLUB.COM]


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