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I often question the role of production and collaboration in todays hip-hop. What does it say about an artist who supplies his own production with little collaboration from others like J.Cole to Mac Miller’s new album full of collaborations onto Action Bronson who seems to have a dependency on his usage of le musica de Harry Fraud. It seems in Mac Miller’s latest album he has grown up a bit. In his previous mixtape Macadelic, I was surprised at the extent that some tracks were actually good, even supplying a collaboration with K-Dot. One of the biggest surprises on Watching Movies With The Sound Off was that I could enjoyably listen to the album straight through, I didn’t have to skip any tracks. Attached with a more mature sound was short spoken word piece at the end of “Red Dot Music” that seems to say it all, “I liked you better when you were easy mac with the cheesy raps.” Yet the album was flooded with collaborations, many from TDE and Odd Future. While these collaborations were great tracks what does this say about the artist and the sound of the album? Then we go on to Born Sinner, majority written and produced by Cole himself. With very few collaborations and outside production, the album is truly Cole’s and keeps true to his sound, gold. And then we have Harry Fraud. What is Harry Fraud and the rest of production doing to hip-hop? I listen to Kendrick Lamar and think, who is behind this sound, who is behind this amazing production. Then I hear “Upper Echelon” come on by Talib Kweli and I think, this track is turnt up. The track like many is produced by Harry Fraud who has a knack for creating hits, however what does it say of an artist that has a whole album produced by Fraud. When Action Bronson raps over Harry Fraud’s beats it may sound hype, but what is he even saying, are you even listening to his words? This over reliance on production is not hip-hop. Production and lyrics must be a balance. Waiting for production to save you will ensure your music to be a fraud.
Contributed by Eve Stern