The West Coast’s resurgence in the rap game continues to pick up momentum by the day. Los Angeles has dominated the rap release cycle lately, with new releases from DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar coming out since the beginning of the year. While liner notes are largely a thing of the past, credit-hounds may have noticed one name in particular cropping up quite a bit in connection with many of the biggest names in LA rap: Terrace Martin.
The Grammy-nominated producer and multi-instrumentalist has had at least one hand on numerous releases from YG to Herbie Hancock; he is known for having played keyboards, drums, bass, and especially saxophone on popular projects like Snoop’s R&G: Rhythm & Gangsta and Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly. A pair of collaborative EPs with radio personality Devi Dev, Here, My Dear and The Sex EP, have helped to make him one of the most sought after producers in urban music, from funk, to soul, to — of course — hip-hop and rap. His extensive resume includes placement on albums from the likes of Talib Kweli, Warren G, Big KRIT, and Travis Scott. Lest he be mistaken for a one-note rap producer who only makes beats, it must be noted that his 2016 album, Velvet Portraits was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
Today, Terrace announces The Pollyseeds: A collaborative group of A-list producers, musicians, and creators which includes Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Marlon Williams, Robert “Sput” Searlight, Craig Brockman, Chachi, Rose Gold, Wyann Vaughn, and more. The band’s debut album The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 will be released on July 14th via Ropeadope. The title is a clear reference to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, which is steeped in jazz history. Legends like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock created timeless pieces of art there, surrounded by some of the most iconic and dynamic visual artists of their time.
Crenshaw is also a boulevard that stretches from the wealthiest areas of Los Angeles, to some of its most poverty-stricken; from the top to the bottom, from the high life to the ghetto, from jazz and classical to hip-hop and funk. It’s the main cruising strip for the low-rider clubs of Los Angeles, who pour their imaginations and meager paychecks into restoring and customizing classic muscle cars of yesteryear. The Pollyseeds mean to bridge that same gap between present and past, high and low, with songs that will pay heed to TSOP, The Funk Brothers, and The Wrecking Crew, while incorporating the modern rhythms of hip-hop.
The lead single from the album, “Intentions (Feat. Chachi),” does just that. If this first preview is any indication, The Sounds Of Crenshaw Vol. 1 will be a jazzy, bouncy affair that lives up to LA’s outsize legacy. It’s all here, the smooth electric piano chords, the wah-wah guitar, the whistling lead synth, and Zapp-influenced clap-and-snare designed to inspire a night of Henny-fueled dance floor shenanigans or top-down cruising on the Sunset strip.
“Chachi” aka Problem keeps it player — that’s “plays it cool,” for those not up on LA lingo — on the vocal tip, letting the groove do all the mood-setting and hanging around just enough to remind you that there might be more partying to be done when the club shuts down. Terrace knocks out another of his signature sax solos to close “Intentions” out on a classy note; you may want to dust off the gators and linen for this one. Brush up on your two-step, player. It’s going to be a long, hot summer, so thank goodness The Pollyseeds are coming to keep you cool.