Stealf is a hip hop producer representing for that 90s era, dusty vinyl, sample filled, boom bap sound. ‘Sling Me Down’ is an 8 track instrumental EP, released through De Facto Entertainment, and it’s clear from the outset of this project that this is one for the fans who don’t pay attention to the overproduced mainstream rap music churned out onto the radio, this is a project for those still bumping the classic sound and feel of golden era hip hop.
The EP kicks off with ‘Brooklyn’s Autumn’. This track has that fantastic, lazy feel that only beats produced on an MPC have. This makes the sound of a beat so much more humanistic than having everything quantised, which has become the standard way of doing things in lots of modern hip hop production. This is a solid opener for the EP, with a chopped up horn sample providing the melody, as well as a deep snare and great string samples integrated expertly into the overall picture.
‘Carbonated Daze’ is my favourite beat from the EP. The marching snare and flute sample make for a very heavy instrumental. Stealf’s beats certainly have a chilled vibe to them, but the dusty breaks and layered samples on the ‘Sling Me Down’ EP could easily provide an incredibly dope backing for some lyricists to bless. Stealf has previously worked with Ruste Juxx (Duck Down Records), Micall Parknsun, Cappo and many more, and it’s good to be able to listen to the technicalities and complexities of his instrumentals on this EP, yet i’m definitely looking forward to hearing more of his work with MCs and vocalists!
The title track features some dope vocal samples, and this soulful instrumental has a crunching snare and interesting drops in texture, and this makes for an engaging listen. ‘Trans-Atlantic Cousins’ is similar in this respect. The staccato feel of the samples and the drop outs towards the end of some phrases make this a unique sounding instrumental, and one of the standouts on the EP.
‘Sling Me Down’ is a good EP from Stealf, who is clearly a very talented producer, utilising the MPC in a variety of ways, making 8 beats that sound cohesive, yet also managing to keep this project versatile. Excellently chopped samples and kicks and snares guaranteed to get your head nodding make this an EP definitely worth listening to, and i’m excited to hear what else De Facto Entertainment will release this year!
By Sam Bennett