Parisian beatmaker DJ Brans starts his year off with the release of his sophomore album ‘Endless’. It follows his 2012 effort ‘The Branstorm’, and the new LP boasts appearances from M.O.P., Guilty Simpson and Dirt Platoon amongst a host of other respected underground stalwarts.
Opening with Thundervolts, Brans recruits west coast veteran Planet Asia to kick a verse over a dark, gloomy boom bap beat with crunchy drums and tense string parts. It’s the perfect introduction to Brans’ hardcore production style, and Asia’s pen-game has always been faultless. Longstanding San Francisco MC Rasco accompanies production from Brans and cuts from DJ Djaz on the hard hitting brass sample flip on ‘Adrenaline Rush’; the mood of the early tracks excellently sets the scene for the remainder of the twelve track LP.
New Jersey MC Fel Sweetenberg is one of the most exciting members of the raw, independent hip-hop scene, with a discography filled with excellent nineties inspired cuts. His appearance on the blistering ‘Make My Mark’ is characteristically impressive, and the soulful, crisp production is perfect for his gritty delivery. ‘Craziest Motherfucker’ features Queensbridge MC Blaq Poet, who has long held a stellar reputation, consistently killing his guest appearances; the simplistic, menacing production smacks you in the face, and the rhymes are expertly handled.
Prolific New York wordsmith Nutso joins on the chilled, passionate ‘Let’s Make A Toast’, and the tasteful piano-laced beat is a testament to Brans’ versatile style; he draws from a range of influences and creates vibes that range from unadulterated hardcore hip-hop bangers to more restrained cuts such as the aforementioned track. Underground MC Starvin B impresses on ‘War At Your Door’, with gritty, simplistic production and smoothly delivered lyricism from the Queens rapper. ‘Powerful’ closes ‘Endless’, with appearances from Fel Sweetenberg and Dirt Platoon (a duo comprised of Raf Almighty and Snook Da Crook), and it’s clear that this is raw, street music at it’s best.
If you like your rap music hard hitting and lyrical, and if you like your production banging and drums pounding, DJ Brans has curated a twelve track ride of near perfection. He’s not reinvented the wheel, but every beat is dope, and every MC on the project comes through with their a-game. ‘Endless’ is an impressive collection of tracks, and it’s a must have for any self-respecting underground head.
By Sam Bennett