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Funk - Released April 17, 2020 | RJ's Electrical Connections

Considered one of the most promising producers in American underground hip-hop and the spearhead of Def Jux, the Brooklyn-based label founded by El P in the early 2000s, RJD2 has never quite gotten the recognition he deserves. No doubt this is due to his desire to stay true to his own ideals and musical quirks, which just so happens to be funk in this newest album. His love of big brass sections became clear in his 2002 hit, Ghostwriter, (from the classic debut album, Deadringer), which sampled Paul Desmond, the Delfonics and Betty Wright, but this time he has sampled funk…to make more funk. Well, almost.Mainly instrumental, The Fun Ones is like a tribute to 70s funk with its snare drums and brass band in No Helmet Up Indianola and its bed of violins in 20 Grand Palace. He teams up with duo Khari Mateen and STS, also from Philadelphia, on Pull Up on Love, a super-funky old-school hip-hop track, while the Californian MC Aceyalone sets the ambience over Meter’s-esque instrumentals in A Genuine Gentleman. Also featured in the album is Homeboy Sandman, a rapper of Dominican origin from Queens and signed by Stones Throw Records, who is completely at ease on the psychedelic One of a Kind. RJD2 wraps up the album with more iridescent synths and vinyl scratches on A Salute to Blood Bowl Legends, which is a reminder of why some people used to say he was the next DJ Shadow. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 3, 2009 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Soul - Released October 8, 2013 | RJ's Electrical Connections

With his debut album Dead Ringer offering nothing but addictive, gritty, busy, sample-heavy hip-hop of the head-bobbing variety, U.S. producer RJD2 found himself in a Catch 22, something like damned if he grew and damned if he didn't. It's not as if his music was ignored or avoided because of that beloved debut, but "not Dead Ringer" was a phrase heard too often, right til his 2010 effort The Colossus welcomed a new crop of fans. As such, More Is Than Isn't is a "not The Colossus" effort as the strength and the power of that previous effort are smoothed-out here, beginning with bit of string-filled sweetness dubbed "Suite 1." Chock-full of soul and spirit, "Temperamental," with former Little Brother member Phonte Coleman, is arguably the best RJD2 vocal track to date, while "A Lot of Night Ahead of You" touches upon Dead Ringer's love of grind and grit, but the tinkling sequencers that fly about the cut are as 2013 RJD2 as the searing rock guitar that cuts through the track. Popped high on disco and furious congas, "Winter Isn't Coming" is a jazz fusion wonder that shines bright; then there's the delightful thrill of live-feeling jazz-funk ("Got There, Sugar?") giving way to Aaron Livingston delivering an excellent broken beat, future ballad ("Love and Go"). Explaining that "It All Came to Me in a Dream," rapper Blueprint speaks for the producer's motives on the closing cut, and even if More Is Than Isn't doesn't flow as well as his previous efforts, this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink experience is dazzling, always leaving the listener wondering what might come next. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 6, 2018 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Funk - Released April 1, 2020 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Funk - Released March 25, 2016 | RJ's Electrical Connections

Booklet
Jumbling Krautrock, '70s electronica, and Philly soul at its brightest, Dame Fortune is producer RJD2's grandest solo record since his 2002 debut, Dead Ringer. Magnificent City from 2006 doesn't count because it was as much an Aceyalone LP as it was the producer's, and while The Colossus and a couple other releases were top-notch, this one flows with the purpose of his debut, offering an end-to-end journey that's Dark Side of the Moon with much more funk and Phonte (from Little Brother/Foreign Exchange). The latter appears on the soaring highlight "Saboteur," which falls somewhere between B.o.B and the Beatles. At first, "Up in the Clouds" floats out of the speakers in the same way, but then Rhymesayers regular Blueprint tells a devastating tale of drunk driving, death, and endless despair. There are more majestic characters than losers on the album, and from unexpected voices, as X Factor runner-up Josh Krajcik testifies like Al Green on "Band of Matron Saints," his ode to womanhood. That rave-up emerges from what sounds like bagpipes, a total RJD2 move, as is the Tangerine Dream-like opener "A Portal Inward" along with the vibrant, guitar-driven "We Come Alive" featuring Son Little, a song that will likely be mined and sampled by future producers for its wealth of funky breaks. If "PF, Day One" is referencing Pink Floyd with its title, then George Duke should also be mentioned as the keyboards are soulful and the song is full of wonder, and if the '70s seem the thing to the point of a gimmick, the funky breakbeats of "The Sheboygan Left" are a dead ringer for 2002. Dame Fortune is a culmination album with an artist's evolution pushing things forward with all his strengths in tow. Check Dead Ringer for that debut spark, and look to this one for something more skilled, bigger, but just as free-spirited. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 17, 2009 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released May 2, 2006 | Mass Appeal

A few months after underground rapper Aceyalone's MAGNIFICENT CITY was released in early 2006, the lauded sonic sculptor RJD2 issued his inventive instrumental tracks for the album as a separate disc. Although the spacious arrangements were clearly designed to give Aceyalon room to rhyme, these dynamic tracks still stand on their own merits, whether it's the vintage soul-funk of "Fire," the stuttering beats and synthesizer stabs of "Supahero," or the melancholy, string-laden atmospherics of "A Beautiful Mine." While MAGNIFICENT CITY INSTRUMENTALS may lack some of the eclecticism and energy present on RJD2's previous outing, SINCE WE LAST SPOKE, it works wonderfully as a minimalist view of MAGNIFICENT CITY, making it of primary interest to devoted Aceyalone and RJD2 fans. © TiVo
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R&B - Released May 5, 2015 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 5, 2007 | XL Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 18, 2009 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Funk - Released October 23, 2015 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 19, 2010 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 26, 2011 | The Belmont Sessions

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Funk - Released February 11, 2016 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Soul - Released July 24, 2012 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Funk - Released February 19, 2020 | RJ's Electrical Connections

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 6, 2007 | XL Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 21, 2010 | RJ's Electrical Connections

A companion release to January’s The Colossus, Inversions of the Colossus features instrumental versions of The Colossus' vocal tracks. RJD2 also adds seven exclusives to the set, most of which are also instrumental and graced with the gentle, elegant flourishes that characterize the original album. And, like the original, it's issued on the producer/MC's RJ's Electrical Connections label. © TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 18, 2009 | RJ's Electrical Connections