Brandon Soderberg




    The late J Dilla's final project Donuts, created while the Detroit producer was in the hospital, is a beat tape turned into head-on confrontation with life and death. Slickly sliced soul samples do the talking ("You're gonna want me back, in your arms," Dionne Warwick sings) and its existential thematics are filtered through modest, low-stakes imagery — the circle of life manifested by way of Homer Simpson's favorite treat — which just makes the thing even more devastating. Some samples ride out, while others are cruelly cut short, as if Dilla was trying to tweak time itself. Panda Bear: I didn't like it at first. It sounded really dense. I couldn't find away into because it was so dense and it moved so fast. But then after listening to it a couple times, the speed of it? Once I got into that, anything slower than that seemed less stimulating.


    Rhode Island-bred full-contact producer Abraham Orellana started out making screeching, treble-filled street bangers for Dipset when their major label money started to dwindle. Slowly though, this Heatmakerz-on-a-budget beatmaker proved himself to be an MPC drum machine virtuoso, feverishly firing out shards of samples at an inhuman rate of speed. The studio rat now blurs the borders between instrumental hip-hop, transcendent EDM cheese, and glitching, trap-rap-flecked noise, with the push of a button, building drum machine jams in front of packed, slack-jawed festival crowds. Back to the Centipedia glossary NEXT: Khaira Arby

  • DJ Rashad / Photo by Ashes 57

    DJ Rashad: Footwork's Bright Star Bends Genres and Brains

    Who: DJ Rashad, a producer from Chicago's thriving footwork dance scene whose stuttering, chaotic tweaks of other local styles like juke and house has helped create a manic, experimental type of global party music. In June, on his label Lit City Trax, Rashad released Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi, the scene's most cohesive and imaginative release yet. "I wanted [Teklife Vol. 1] to be raw, fun, fresh, footwork-ish, juke-ish, a little ghetto-tech-ish, a little jungle-ish, you know?" Rashad says excitedly.

  • Woop woop!

    Insane Clown Posse, 'The Mighty Death Pop!' (Psychopathic)

    Despite their reputation as violent, sexist, mind-corrupting cracker rappers from the mean trailer parks of Detroit — and for the moment, putting aside the very real and very weird fact that the freaking F.B.I. has labeled their fans (infamously known as "Juggalos") a gang — the Insane Clown Posse should be feared only because of their unwavering, intimidating sincerity. Their Gathering of the Juggalos, a massive, fan-friendly, money-losing weekend get-together going 13 years strong — with the latest installment finding room for both the roast-chicken-skinned wrestling legend Ric Flair and Skrillex-haired rapper Danny Brown — is one big celebration of seriously giving a shit. When "Miracles," off 2009's Bang! Pow!

  • 8Ball, 'Life's Quest' (E1)

    2 Chainz and KRIT assist the aging Orange Mound O.G.; it's hard out there for a pimp with a stellar discography.

  • Joe Moses, 'The Streets' (Thump)

    After ratchet-music fallout, Brick Squad's bench goes west for this versatile, fist-pumping Cali MC.

  • Nas / Kevin Winter/Getty

    Nas, 'Life Is Good' (Def Jam)

    Last month, a brief documentary surfaced on YouTube detailing the creation of a Nas-funded animatronic Jay-Z — this was during the height of the Jigga vs. Esco beef — which he intended to hang in effigy at Summer Jam 2002. Thankfully, he scrapped the Jay-Bot, but the fact that Nas pursued this idea almost to fruition is a testament to just how far one of the best rappers of all time is willing to take some of his worst ideas. Put "remote-controlled, life-size recreation of Jay-Z" at the top of a list that also includes his song written from the point of view of a gun, the other one where he raps in an Edward G.

  • Prodigy, 'H.N.I.C. 3' (Infamous)

    In his own world, with his chest puffed out and his rhymes underwritten, legendary Mobb Deep dunn seems well, done.

  • Maybach Music Group, 'Self Made Vol. 2' (MMG/Warner Bros.)

    Pseudo-supergroup of convenience snarls, stunts, and simps luxuriously....Needs more Gunplay.

  • Danny Brown / Photos by Ryan Muir

    Danny Brown Brings Sublimely Potty-Mouthed Set to SPIN Roof

    Last night, Danny Brown, still running on the momentum of last year's Fool's Gold-released XXX (SPIN's rap album of the year), performed on our office rooftop — a short set full of screaming-all-the-lyrics love and a fairly off-the-chain vibe for a SPIN Live event sponsored by Thrillist and Jack Threads. A roof full of people bleated back "blunt after blunt after blunt after blunt" into the night air, the number of New Yorkers too cool to participate shrinking each time Danny threw the mic in the direction of the crowd. Brown went in on his strongest, weirdest stuff, leaning towards newer tracks (XXX deluxe edition track "Witit," his A-Trak and Juicy J collaboration "Piss Test"), anchoring the set around what can only be accurately described as a suite of pussy-eating songs.

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