BeatsBeast and B.EZY
When thinking of Hiphop and Michigan (together, that is), the usual artist that comes to most people’s minds would undoubtedly be Eminem (along with his D12 crew). Those a little more familiar with the area would recognize a few other names, such as Insane Clown Posse and Guilty Simpson. But hailing from Eastpointe, Michigan is another act that may be under your radar: producer BeatsBeast along with his artist B.EZY.
We’ll talk about the production side first. BeatsBeast takes a more traditional “boom-bap” approach to his productions: nice and steady drum programming, (kick-snare-kick-kick-snare), with a smooth and dusty record sample to provide the melody. The formula works–for the most part–usually. Simplicity is good. After all, less is more–as they say. However, overall I found there were not enough changes in the beats; drum patterns would repeat for too many bars in a row. This is most noticeable during the intros (before the first verse began). Hiphop beats come alive with breakdown’s and fill-in’s (at their appropriate times, of course). And any slight change to a drum pattern helps (Take a snare out of one pattern, maybe a kick out of another). Not having enough changes brings the energy level way down and makes for a monotonous listen. BB’s strength lies within his sample choices and hard hitting drum sounds. He obviously has a good ear for what kind of samples go good with his “boom-bap” style of production. Though “Click Clack” is my favorite track on here, the most innovative sounding beat would be the minimalist “Grown and Sexual”. It starts out with a heartbeat kick pattern with some reverberated claps, and the ever so sparse fx. Then the synth sound comes in every four beats. This is simplicity done right.
As far as lyrics, we take a look at B.EZY’s contribution. His content ranges from the complexity of being involved with someone who is cheating, as well as the need to be yourself in a relationship; to pimping, getting sexual, and classic braggadocio. The flow is laidback. This usually sounds fine, but on a couple of the hooks it makes for awkward timing. For example, on both “Lil Man” and “Be Who You Are”, the chorus sounds as if it wasn’t aligned to the beat properly during the multi-tracking stage. It’s hard to tell if it’s a flow or editing issue. Ironically, B.EZY and BeatsBeast sound best when they are the most relaxed. I bring up “Grown and Sexual” again. B.EZY is so laidback, he’s practically talking over a beat that has plenty of breathing room. Lyrically and musically, it has a very Kid Cudi sound to it.
All in all, the duo has potential. Their sound will appeal to a niche audience. Mainly Hiphop purists who find the squeaky clean keyboard sounds that flood the current airwaves to be downright disgusting. But even within that underground sub-culture of Hiphop, BeatsBeast and B.EZY will find that competition is fierce (probably more than one would expect). These are not bad songs. But there isn’t any single track that stands out as being exceptional, nor rises above the level of average. Some fine-tuning and adjusting could make a world of difference.