Scarborough-based beatsmith Kista has been putting together choice cuts of pure Hip Hop for a while now; for his latest release, he’s teamed up with some quality US MCs to drop 12 tracks of that dopeness. January the 7th sees the 12″ released via Soundweight Records and UK vinyl aficionados Dusty Platter. If it’s not a date marked in your calendar, you might want to listen to these album snippets, pre-order the 12″, break out the 1210’s, buy all the Ortofon scratch carts you can afford and wait patiently for the next Six days in the B Boy stance, nodding your head like the dude in the video behind Melle Mel on the ‘child is born with no state of miiind’ verse.
Earlier last year, Soundweight put out Kista’s last LP; The Grand Emporium. It was a bold and break-heavy effort on which the producer locked into a groove influenced by the classic elements of Hip Hop, and dragged the sound into the 21st century with some modern production, and guest bars from the illest rappers on both sides of the Atlantic. This year he’s back at it again; on Pushing Buttons he’s collected some seriously funky beats from various periods throughout his career,thrown in some hard to find vocal tracks, and sealed the deal with instrumentals and bonus tracks to make a complete package for vinyl heads, DJs and fans of no-frills new Hip Hop rooted in tradition and made with respect and love for the culture.
I dont dance, but if I did, and I entered competitions against other breakin’ crews; I’d play Grandmaster Majere loud as I could and two step all up in their grill while doing that side to side head thing Carlton used to bust out on The Fresh Prince. The song’s so damn old school if even has ‘fly’ in the chorus, and Sumkid’s bars take the already knockin’ beat to a whole other level. Stupid Mutha‘s laidback tones update the sound slightly, as the track tumbles along carefree, like stoned birds across a summer sky. Tableek’s skilled verses and cocksure delivery bring the heat and keep the track exciting and upbeat despite it’s calm demeanour, and the overwhelming feeling of relaxation that pervades makes this one of the best songs on Pushing Buttons. After the verbal lashing on the first two tracks, Off The Beaten Track pr0vides a nice break in more ways than one. The chilled vibes abide as a mellow loop courses over percussive bongo patterns. No doubt if you’re getting Two copies of the EP you’ll have some fun beat juggling with this smooth instrumental.
The transition into Devil’s Shoes is flawless and melodically so close you’d think the songs were made to fit next to each other. Sumkid smashes it again with fluid rhymes that hold many gems; “I’m African diaspora, tribe of genius, sick as boat of Spaniards carrying Portuguese diseases, Raphael’s revenge I know’s defending hells honour, my sword slice through your pastrami or melt armour.” Kista’s production is as excellent as ever, those organ and pipe samples alone are worth all the hours he must spend diggin’. Tableek’s second feature is even better than his first; Talk With God is a ‘how to’ when it comes to laidback cool from a producer and MC, sounding like the pair are creepin’ about in aviators and leather waistcoats like a Hip Hop version of those undercover cop films from the 70’s. Moonwalk finishes things on another effortlessly cool note, as Kista samples some psychedelic rock that reverberates around the mind as the EP’s last call of “Writers, MCs, DJs and Breakers” fades, reminding you who the beats were made for; and leaving you no choice but to either drop the needle back on track One, or flip the record for those instrumentals, and perfect that Flash spin on the fader so the girls can love the way you spin too.
There’s a limited run of this one, so if you want to get your hands on one of the 250 copies being pressed, Pre Order the 12″ here.