The other day I received an e-mail including two links from East Atlanta rapper Derrick Russell. Admittedly, I was close to dropping the e-mail straight in the trash bin, because I feel like if you can’t write a proper hi and bye, why would I invest my time listening to your music?
So, to all artists guilty of doing this; email etiquette is dope. Just do it already. Thank you.
That being said, I did land on the fourteen-track playlist that Russell sent me and was happy I did. Russell’s “Red Dye Karma” EP is a collection of meditation-like, intergalactic, jazzy beats with dope lyrics. There’s no doubt Russell has interesting stories to tell, but what struck me most about the album was the excellent selection of beats. The first song on the EP, “Mark Trail” is produced by Handbook, the UK-producer that killed it on J.Hurt’s “Lost My Soul In Pasadena” EP.
Further along the EP we hear SoundCloud stars as iamalex, Graves, Squid Ethics, The Deli, and fellow-Berlin-based producer BILO 503. Russell does an excellent job of taking different beats and combining them as one on his 34:34-minute long project, all the while enlightening us with stories about Lily, Bill, and Gloria.
And the best thing? If after fourteen songs you need more Derrick Russell in your life (I did), there is another great playlist available called “FOLK MUSIC 1”. And no, it doesn’t actually sound like folk.