Itchie’s Pick of the Week: Two new 7″ releases from Chicago’s own Tall Black Guy

I first started hearing about Tall Black Guy when All Natural Inc. was throwing the Dance To the Drummer’s DB beat battles at Sonotheque in the middle 00’s. I’d heard he was a beast, but it wasn’t until he dropped off his group The Eighties Babies (with D. Jackson) debut full length at Gramaphone that I really understood how much of a beast was. I loved the record and became a quick, devout fan. I like to joke with his wife that I’m his number one fan, before her and even his own mama.
He’s released another album with D. Jackson entitled Sonic Music, has another nearly complete project with 1773 called Greenlight Go slated for an early 2012 release, and just released an album Darling Lure with Chicago Hip-Hop pioneers Primeridian on All Natural Inc. He has numerous free projects on the web: Hollyweird 1 & 2 (; and his Michael Jackson remix suite available here.  I was really looking forward to him releasing this one!  He broke me off with his flip of “Beat It” maybe a year before… and I played it everywhere I could!  It’s a banging tune.  Get’s MCs open every time. It’s a perfect example of how he takes familiar tunes and dismembers them, turning them into something brand new, and often beautiful.  His productions are full, and lush, soulful, with cracking drums, banging bass.

The first 7 inch, released on BstrdBoots, is a Gilles Peterson favorite (it’s included on the new Brownswood Bubblers Volume 7 compilation).  It is a flip of Fela Kuti’s “Water No Get Enemy“.  It’s origins stem from the Facebook based producers community The Beat Inn, where members agree to use the same source material and share the results.  It’s a slower piece than the original Fela song.  TBG flips it with a new time signature and swing.  It’s melodic, and beautiful.  It never seems to repeat itself.  The flip side “Lost & Gone” is also quite a gem.  Buy it HERE.

7 inch #2, released on UK based First Word Records, features Primeridian’s Simeon Viltz, and Shev Rock on “Dance Forever”.  The B-side is a bit more uptempo and funky (I can see it becoming a party anthem in an ideal world), flips The Fatback Band’s oft-sampled west coast classic “Backstrokin’” (check Dr. Dre’s “Let’s Get High” from The Chronic 2001 or Dolla Holla’s “Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood” on the original Project Blowed compilation).  Buy it HERE.

Both are highly recommended and available at Gramaphone now.  Check the webstore at the links above for sound samples, or come in and find them on the hip-hop wall, grab a turntable, and zone out.

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