‘II Tone’ Taking the heart of classic hip-hop – a soft but real-heavy beat, a slightly haunting, repetitive riff, a continuous run in the background, and a simple but memorable hook – “Outta Space” this latest release from the project playlist has a classic and fresh feel to It.
Hailing from South Memphis, II Tone or 2 tone has an extensive catalogue of work including features from platinum recording artist Chamillionaire, Lord Infamous, Young Bleed, T-Rock and many more. In 2007, II Tone collaborated with longtime friend, the late Lord Infamous to record and establish Black Rain Entertainment, which would release several joint ventures and compilations. For over a decade, II Tone has been a staple of the Memphis rap scene. featuring, executive producing, and even establishing an independent label. Another puzzle that matches his work ethic is his storytelling, embodying the words “Hustle” and “Grind” popularly used to describe Memphis.
“Outta Space”, The track’s mixed stations take the electronic riffs up a bit, occasionally distracting from the rap vocals, but at the same time creating this hypnotic and defiant music that surrounds you like any other down-tempo hip hop track. On top of this, the chorus shows a range of vocal ideas and characters that vary between sections. The storytelling is different, the verse that comes in at almost three minutes presents a rather dark scene, and a soft yet rough performance delivers these lines that effectively grab your attention. After this, the beat resumes and the structure of the whole piece really affects how each moment is received.
The music is deeply rhythmic, ambient and captivating at every turn, but so much more – the composer presents a series of moments, stories and ideas that come through these structurally complex compositions. Each new piece comes complete with unexpected samples, sounds, effects and bits of spoken word that add even more intrigue and drama to an already compelling and incredibly satisfying audio experience.
More than ever when it comes to expertly crafted and polished hip-hop music, this is a project you can and definitely should listen to at high volume. The increase in speed and intensity as things progress is exhilarating, creating a sense of urgency within you – as the pulse increases, the industrial energy of the soundscape follows, and the whole thing takes over you like an almighty intoxicant. And it doesn’t stop there.