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The Beat Tape, Vol. 2

DJ Babu

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Album Review

The second installment in Babu's Beat Tape series sees the Dilated Peoples and World Famous Beat Junkies DJ/producer unveiling no less than 40 of his studio creations. Much like the original, the tracks featured on Vol. 2 clock in at an average of a minute and a half — just enough time to entrance listeners in their nuanced layers before ushering in the next beat, whether it be abruptly or seamlessly. A number of Babu's tracks ("Mr. Lone Lee," "Ready," "I'm Gonna Stay") are already tailor-made with scratched-up hooks and sound prime for any hungry MC willing to take them on, while others play like album interludes peppered with spoken word samples that themselves feel like breaks in the action even while Babu is keeping things moving (see "Yacht Hop," "G Yeah"). The signature Dilated production style — characterized by crisp drums, dramatic brass and string arrangements, soul singer vocal samples, and plenty of piano loops — is dominant throughout, but Babu does play around with more sinister sounds, too. The distorted bassline and keyboard plinks of "Ghost Romper Room" and the creepy synth arrangements of "Mortay" sound like tongue-in-cheek nods to the Alchemist, while, on "Phlip the Trac," Babu revisits the GZA's "Liquid Swords" and does indeed flip the RZA's original track into a breezier kind of headnodder.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born Chris Oroc, DJ Babu is a member of Dilated Peoples and the on-again/off-again DJ crew Beat Junkies. The California-based DJ began making mix tapes in the early '90s and joined the Beat Junkies in 1994. Babu has won multiple competition titles including the DMC Championship in 1997 and multiple ITF titles. As a revered battle DJ he has appeared in and hosted numerable videos and — under the name Turntablist — produced perhaps the genre's...
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The Beat Tape, Vol. 2, DJ Babu
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