Producers United frontrunner J1K stays in full effect with his latest beat tape, Walk To Nowhere (WTN), released earlier this year. This is one of multiple releases over the past year which included his projects Cruisin’ and Dark Forces, the latter of which was reviewed by The Illixer. He keeps getting better with his craft and here are some of the best tracks to pay attention to on WTN.
J1K chops up a nice sample of the 1975 joint “Look At Me (I’m In Love)” by The Moments and it works well. What stood out to me on this one was the incredible drum loop. The kicks knock hard but the way the snare switches up every fourth bar is stupid good and timed to the T. The percussion is layered with a good clap that gives it some ambiance and the strings are wide and give balance to the whole production. There are also some heavy horns on here that gives it a big feel as well as a classiness that any Hip-Hop head would be happy to spit over.
“Boston To L.A.”
This was one of my favorite tracks because of the cool jazzy vibe that this one carried as well as the slight experimental feel to it. There are airy piano or organ notes that bounce pan in and out during the entire track. The drum loop has a very East Coast feel to it and there is a trumpet like synth sound holding the frame work together from the beginning to create a finger snapping mood. Laura Roig plays sax and sings ad-libs towards the end that helps the beauty of this track and fits so perfectly. There wasn’t too much going on but less is better with this one.
This is a head nodder for real, for real! It is built around a Western sounding guitar sample that is layered with reverb and echoes that create a big sound for the whole record. The drum loop is simple with a light kick, familiar snare, and classic boom bap pattern. There is a deep, low baseline that compliments the mix without adding too much muffle to the low end. J1K adds a vinyl hissing over the final mix to further the old school feel to it and I have to say that it is brilliant. This one is proof that J1K’s ear for which sounds mesh and play nicely together is becoming impeccable.
**Final Thoughts: Overall this is a smooth package. J1k’s production skills continue to become crisper and more refined with every release and WTN is just another notch on his belt. The only thing that I didn’t like about the release is that it does not set itself too far apart from his other projects to me. Now that is not to say that it isn’t good; it’s just not completely unique from his other body of works. All in all, J1K holds it down for Maryland one more time as well as for true fans that support his music courtesy of the four bonus tracks received when you download the tape. -Real McCoy