Producer SeanH2K11 concocts 'SADEVILLAIN'

‘SADEVILLAIN’, a new mixtape EP by UK producer SeanH2K11 which splices MF DOOM vocals with instrumentals crafted from Sade songs, surfaced this past weekend.

The eight-track offering, which was uploaded by the Portsmouth-based beatmaker to mixtape site, fuses previously released DOOM accapella tracks – such as ‘My Favourite Ladies’ - to reworked versions of ‘Silver Spoon’, ‘Jezebel’ and more.

Given DOOM’s own sampling of Sade in the past, a full length musical marriage of the pair seems a logical progression. On his debut solo album, 1999’s ‘Operation Doomsday’, DOOM borrowed ‘Kiss Of Life’ (from 1992’s ‘Love Deluxe’ LP) for the song ‘Doomsday’. The legendary underground emcee/producer later revisited the Nigerian-born, London-raised singer’s work on 2004’s ‘MM…Food’ LP, looping a piano line from her 1985 single ‘Is It A Crime?’ for the track ‘Kon Karne’.

In that sense, SeanH2K11’s new set serves as a fitting homage to DOOM’s early post-KMD material that initially dropped on Bobbito Garcia’s storied independent hip-hop label Fondle ‘Em. Along with the standard breakbeats and jazz loops, ‘Operation Doomsday’ saw DOOM take an expansive approach, delving into silky ‘80s quiet-storm R&B for samples, which lesser hip-hop producers – especially those active in New York’s often-narrow mid-‘90s subterranean scene – shunned in favour of established ‘70s funk and soul staples for that dusty underground sound. ‘Red And Gold’ was built around an audacious sample of The Deele’s ‘Shoot ‘Em Up Movies’ (1987) as Atlantic Starr sat next to Roy Ayers, while ‘The Finest’, sampled, er, ‘The Finest’ by The S.O.S. Band (1986).

And forget the tired old ‘mashup’ genre which ran its course some years back; to these ears the ‘SADEVILLAIN’ project instead echoes the spirit of the late ‘80s halcyon days of blend mixtapes. Back then, New York hip-hop DJs such as Ron G and Kid Capri would take R&B accapellas of the period and drop them over rugged hip-hop beats – a technique that partly forecast the early ‘90s hip-hop soul sound that would make stars out of Mary J. Blige, TLC and the Bad Boy Entertainment stable.


Words: Hugh Leask (@HughSnoozeULose)

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