Haynesy - Dope Beat Biz Vol 1
Reviewed by David Taylor
Label : N/A Self Released
Genre : Hip Hop
Pause for a minute, think of B Boys throwing down on a rolled-out Lino in Covent Garden to the lo-fi sound of an Electro track playing from a beat-up boom box.
A time when Mike Allen’s Capital Radio Show informed your music buying trends, Graffiti pieces and tags became your landscape and Hip Hop slowly started to shift from being an import from the US to a part of the tapestry of the UK underground music scene.
That’s where the roots of this producer and this album lie and what a celebration of that time, and of Hip-Hop culture in 2019 this album is.
Before I even put the headphones on, I want to give props to Haynesy for the incredible energy and work that he puts into the culture that we all love.
Before he put out ‘Hip Hop Advocate’ in 2018 he set up a Facebook page to share tracks and content for Hip Hop fans of a similar mindset. The page’s popularity spread like wildfire in the Hip Hop community and racked up tens of thousands of likes in a matter of months. Not only does he put a shift in behind the scenes he is first and foremost a die-hard fan of Hip Hop and I doff my hat to the commitment that he puts into the UK scene.
Now down to the music; ‘Put Me On’ moves to a funky bassline with a wicked break and some neat percussion. Gee Bag and Neek the Exotic compliment each other perfectly with bars with more bravado than a prize fighter in a ringside interview. The bass line pulsates under the track with force and drops out for the outro where Jabba The Cut laces some superb cuts; absolute belter.
Second track ‘Trained Assassins’ is a hard-hitting party jam with a bass heavy groove suitably slick for the likes of Scorzayzee’s flow. This track features some dope cuts from Jabba The Cut which round the track off nicely. This would have made a strong 45 release as a single.
‘Back in The Day’ harks back to the golden era with an ultra-funky guitar loop that sets the scene for Suspekt’s rhymes and a heavy hook. The breakdown features a dope 808 drum loop that is absolute gold alongside Suspeckt’s final blast of the hook.
‘Use Your Head’, a re-rub of Mark B and Blade’s cut from their 1998 album ‘Hitmen For Hire’ is introduced with a splattering of expert cuts from Jabba The Cut which make way to UK Hip Hop pioneer Blade’s flow. Heavy percussive beats allow Blade’s verses to take your attention before more high-speed cuts are sprayed over the beat to bring the track to an end. On second listen there are some really intricate production touches; subtle use of chopped up samples and lovely delayed excerpts of the vocal give the track a nice depth. The cuts really are a standout strong point too and are cleverly put together as well as being professionally executed.
Next up is our boy Dweller on ‘Jungle’. This is a re-work of a track that Dweller originally put out on the 2017 album ‘Nostalgia’. Haynesy has stamped his instantly recognisable identity on the track with funky loops and a heavy beat. Dweller’s bars come through with clarity over the flute loops, and an amazing synth sound plus an electric bass riff to add some funk. The busy arrangement provides the perfect contrast to Dweller’s charismatic laid-back flow.
‘Pick it up’ with vocals from Ddubble packs a punch and comes through with a heavyweight and fast paced beat and bass combo. The prominent bass line is by now a stand out ingredient in Haynesy’s cook book and the unique thing about this album is that each track could work equally as well as a single release with an instrumental on the flip as it does on an L.P. Ddubble drops some clever verses, in particular some word play around lyrics beginning with certain letters and again, the vocal stands out on top of the busy track underneath it which is testament both to the production and mix but also the talent of the M.C’s that feature on the album.
‘Tri Polar’ wins the title for heaviest Hip Hop beat of the album. The track opens with the solo vocal of Scorzayzee before the kick drum and hi hats pound in reminiscent of the opening bars to P.S.K. Some slick keys that could be a nod to Money Mark step in to provide a bright contrast to the all-powerful beat before some nice guitar licks join the ensemble; this is some intro!
Scorzayzee’s high energy flow is wicked but I can’t get my attention away from the superb musicality and arrangement behind this one. As with every other track you could drop this at a jam but there is a lot of intricate and layered aspects that make it hugely listenable on the headphones too.
‘These Days’ the second pairing with Dweller has a summer vibe to it, the kind of track that compliments a barbecue and case of cold beers perfectly. Dweller’s vocal swagger manoeuvres over a head nod beat with style and the hook has got to be the strongest of the album by far. Thereafter follows a peppering of signature cuts by Jabba The Cut to end what is one of the strongest tracks on the album in my book.
‘W-E-G’ turns the atmosphere up full dial and slows the pace of the album down to bring it to a perfect close. The keys in the opening bars are unbelievable and Haynesy nails yet another stunning intro. Some amazing little loops are chopped up over this one and the subtle beat allows Weg to let loose with some complex rhyme patterns. This closing track simply leaves you intrigued to hear more of what Haynesy has in store in future and left me reaching for the play button to start back at track 1 again.
If I had to describe the album in one word it would be deep, it’s depth is in the densely layered and intricate samples, expertly chopped loops and of course a selection of vocals from a range of M.C’s that represent the cream of the crop in the U.K scene.
Dope Beat Biz Volume 1 is a celebration of everything that is good about British Hip Hop in 2019; an L.P that manages to pay homage to the Golden Era whilst pushing forward the boundaries with its own unique sound in equal measure.
If you asked me if this was a contender for album of the year my answer would be a quote from the infamous Biz Markie……. ‘nobody beats the biz’.
Pre order link: https://fatman.bandcamp.com/