Key Personnel: Dave Dar (mixer)
Released: May 2001
Listening to this album was a pleasure, it was part of my soundtrack for summer 2001. (Hi-Tek claims Rawkus didn’t pay him for his beats.)
It’s rumored that this album got him the attention of Dr Dre’s Aftermath Records. Easy to see why he wanted him on his team.
Before this LP, I had only heard Hi-Tek collaborate with Talib Kweli as part of Reflection Eternal and some records he made for Blackstar. I was always a fan of his since those releases. A few people had claimed he sounded too much like Dilla, with the shakers and other ‘Dilla-esque’ sounds. This was later cleared up in and interview. (@ around 1.35)
Anyway, to all beat fanatics and future producers, I suggest you study this album. Listen to how he has to emphasize melody through percussion and vocals, as a result of having few sounds in his beats. Uses some nice samples on this,but only to layer his beats. The album sounds very up to date because of the use of live instrumentation. It helps add a sense of musicianship to the tracks. I think the guitars on this album were played by Eric “Lil E” Coombes, but I’m not 100% sure.