14KT has generated the kind of word-of-mouth attention a beat maker could only dream of. A MySpace page can only do so much — beyond the parameters of the Internet the proof must be in the proverbial pudding. And it’s KT’s tapioca blend of silky smooth chunk and funk that made him the winner of Detroit’s Red Bull Big Tune beat battle, and sent him all the way to the semi-final round of the championships in New York earlier this month.
KT’s beats have always conveyed emotions to me better than any lyrics could, which is exactly the tenor of his recent instrumental release The Golden Hour soundtrack. What’s most prevalent in his sound is an obvious love and respect for all music. He’s a fan of artists and albums outside of his studio, his city and his genre. He’s a student of sound. And it’s with that understanding that I approached KT to ask him about five of his favorite albums to gain insight on the mind of a man who hears new music in the old. Who draws inspiration from the inspired.
Outkast – ATLiens
“This is my all-time favorite album. It dropped August 27, 1996. I remember riding my bike to the record store and listening to it immediately, as soon as I left the store. I was amazed at how different Outkast took it from their first album, but still maintained the dopeness that they were known for. Organized Noize became one of my favorite production influences with the way they crafted their own spaced-out-guitar, sprinkled-heavy, bass-line laden style. Come on, you can’t tell me spitting over no drums and just rhythm on “E.T” didn’t bug you out?? I listened to this album at least once or twice a year.”
Stereolab – Dots And Loops
“Haircut hit me with a copy of this album in like ’02. He just told me to listen to it. I listened. Then listened again. Again. I couldn’t really understand what the lead singer (Laetitia Sadier) was saying, but the melodies, harmonies, and irregular measures of the song structures attracted me. I swear I ran “Rainbow Conversations” back at least 15 times when I first heard it, waiting for the little breakdown part towards the end of the song. Thanks, Haircut. Thank you, Stereolab.”
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars
“Probably one of the most slept-on producers of the Philly Soul Era of music from the ’70s.
I stumbled upon this record in ’03. Around the same time, I had just purchased a Yamaha Motif and was trying my hand at playing keys. What made me love this album was how soulful he made synthesizers sound in the ’70s, and not all cheezy. I listened to the record for a month, then was inspired to record an album playing synth and keys immediately afterwards. Thank you, Mr. Wansel.”
Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 2
“My head has NEVER nodded the same after this album. The first joint I heard from Slum was “Players” back in like ’99. The sound was so different and when I heard Slum was from my state, I wild out! Ha! I remember me and Haircut had this pseudo-group called The Beat Stalkers. We would remake cats’ beats and send the beats back to them bragging about how we figured them out. However, we never figured out that damn last piece of the ‘Claire’ chop to ‘Players.’ Dammit.
‘Get This Money.’ ‘Climax.’ Man, that album defines what the sound of Detroit was to me. Classic. Raise it up. Much love to S. Villa.”
eLZhi – Out Of Focus EP
“Wow. I heard this in ’99. I remember I was at One.Be.Lo’s crib in Pontiac. That day I met Nick Speed and Magestik Legend of a crew called 9-2-5 Colony, which Elzhi was a part of. I went into Lo’s room and there was a tape with the label mostly worn off in his boombox. Curiously, I played it. What I heard was the halfway point of the song “Boomerang Slang.” I had to rewind it to the start of the joint.
“Yo. That’s probably one of the illest story concepts I ever heard. Changed my life. “S.A.R.A.H.” became my theme music and the EP put me on to other dope Detroit legends like DJ House Shoes (who produced “Boomerang Slang,”) Dwele, Breakfast Club, Waajeed, Hodge Podge, Big Tone, Lacks b.k.a. Ta’Raach… to this day, Elzhi is my favorite emcee.”
Enjoy the opening track from The Golden Hour, entitled “The Waiting Room”[audio:http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/14kt_-_the_waiting_room.mp3%5D
The Golden Hour soundtrack available for purchase at A-Side Worldwide
Visit 14KT’s MySpace
Previously Posted – “The Hour Is Now” – Conceptual Hip-Hop With 14KT