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8,000,000 Stories Instrumentals

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Album Review

As is the case with many albums by hip-hop groups in which the producer is a respected force, an instrumental version follows shortly after. So of course it makes perfect sense that Soul Position's 2003 record, 8 Million Stories, had a companion in the form of 8 Million Stories: Instrumentals, which is, being that "instrumentals" in this case equal RJD2, also pretty much a companion to Dead Ringer or The Horror. To be perfectly honest, as Blueprint shows up only in a vocal scratch on one track ("Survival") and in the bonus track, a remixed version of "Inhale," it hardly seems that the record should even be attributed to Soul Position, except of course for the fact that it's very easy to hear the MC's voice over the beats that RJD2 has laid down. That being said, Instrumentals holds its own pretty well: interesting, harmonious, and diverse enough (both between tracks and within individual songs) to not be boring, while still retaining the circularity and repetition that are so standard and probably necessary in hip-hop production. It's fun, reflective, melancholic — all the usual characteristics of RJD2's music — and while it may not quite hold listeners' attention like his actual solo work or the vocal talents of Blueprint, it's pretty captivating nonetheless.


Formed: 2001 in Columbus, OH

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

Each a respected artist on the individual level, DJ RJD2 (born Ramble John Krohn) and MC Blueprint (Albert Shepard) first came together as Soul Position in 2001 in Columbus, OH. In 2002 they released a six-song EP, Unlimited, which was followed the next year by the full-length 8 Million Stories on the Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers...
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