Friday, December 17, 2010


KVBeats' debut album The Resumé is out now. That might not have you too excited, probably because you don't know who he is. I don't know who he is either, to be honest. I mean, I know he's a hip-hop producer from Copenhagen, but I only know that because I looked him up online after I heard about this LP. If he's ever produced anything by anybody before, it's news to me. But... But you may not know this KVBeats guy, but I'm sure you know a ton of MCs featured on this album: Slum Village, Smoothe da Hustler, Little Vic, etc etc. So, yeah, it's not just a debut by an unknown Danish producer, it's a compilation where every song is by known and respected US MCs.

And I can start out with some welcome news: KV is a good producer. Because, it doesn't matter how good his line-up is if he can't hold up his end. He could have the greatest rappers in the world, but nobody's gonna spin the album a second time if they're stuck rhyming over some cheap, electronic bullshit. But, no. Fortunately, KV's pretty nice with his. He's got a cool, lively but subtle, understated style. And he's got a unique, consistent sound... after listening to this album I feel like, if I heard something he produces down the road I'll be able to tell, "oh, I bet KVBeats produced this."

That said, he also paints himself a little into a corner that way... when he pairs smooth, low-key vibe with solid but not especially dynamic MCs, he winds up with an album that feels a bit soft. Not in the sense that the music isn't loud and angry hardcore like old school Willie D (though some of that energy would've helped), but just in that it often doesn't make that much of an impact. Guys like Prince Po, DV Alias Khrist and the dudes from Slum Village doing concept songs over smooth beats can blend into the background dangerously close to elevator music. It's cool, but unexciting. A couple of the guests like Chaundon and Pace Won manage to make their contributions pop by injecting humor, and Doo Wop livens up his song just by being Doo Wop.

The highlight is easily "5'9 + Won," a duet featuring smart, attention grabbing verses from Royce da 5'9 and Pace Won. A killer hook provided by DMC world champion DJ Noize helps a lot. This one and "Clap To This" features some of the best production on the album. The latter, though, is hampered somewhat by its MC, Mic Geronimo, whose flow feels a bit gimmicky, as if he's trying to appeal to "the youtube generation" or something.

This is a good, solid debut album, and KVBeats provides the kind of sound I wish more people were doing in 2010. But for the most part, it's going to wind up with a limited appeal to more select, serious heads that are prepared to give an attentive, appreciative ear to some quality production without a lot of flash. Everyone else will want to just download "5'9 + Won" and one or two contributions by their personal favorite guests (you can do that legally, guys, from itunes and amazon) and move on.

...But a limited audience is appropriate for this anyway, since it's a limited pressing. Only 300 copies are being pressed onto cool, blue vinyl; and as you can see above, it comes in a fresh picture cover. I'm not sure how many spots will be carrying this, but I know hhv and jet set have got it (hopefully someplace with USA-friendly shipping will get on board soon). And I look forward to hearing more from KVBeats; he's got an appealing sound. And if he can talk DJ Noize into working with him on the regular, they'd be a force to be reckoned with.

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