DJ Concept: Meditations 4

Long Island-based beatmaker DJ Concept recently released the fourth installment of his Meditations series. Featuring beats he’s made for the likes of Ghetto, Nutso, and Eto, the ten track album is an inside look how producers make beats that sound interesting to rappers.

Opening with “Maskachusetts,” the album shows the versatility of DJ Concept. “Maskachusetts” is a piano-laden trap beat that found a home with Ghetto rapping over it. With no vocals, you can hear that it is a fairly sparse beat with mostly just piano and hi-hat. It is easy to hear why a vocalist would choose the beat as it has a lot of space to fill.

Other beats are fuller and stand on their own. “Different Energy” features bouncing bass, intricate drums, and echoing vocal samples. The beat was used by Dirt Disciples but you can hear its innate catchiness in DJ Concept’s production. Similarly, “Come On Home” is a track that the instrumental might actually be better than the vocal version. Given to singer Bridgette Angelique, the instrumental features a sped-up rock sample. The vocals that Angelique puts on the track are fine but the instrumental is what really carries the song.

Other instrumentals are included that really just show why vocals are so integral to a song’s success. “No Brainer (Remix)” is one of the longest tracks on the album, clocking in at over three minutes, yet it barely changes the entire time. Without Keith Murray and Canibus’ vocals, it feels uninteresting after about a minute once you get the general vibe. The same can be said for “Life (Remix)” which is one of the more plodding instrumentals. Its slow BPM makes it a prime candidate to get a feel for the sampled strings and piano hit and then change the track.

Overall, DJ Concept is a successful producer and obviously knows what he is doing but there is a reason that the tracks Meditations 4 were released with vocals originally. Some are interesting enough to stand on their own but many are only palatable for a minute if you are not listening with a writer’s ear.

Meditations 4 is available now through all digital retailers and streaming platforms courtesy of Crisis Center Collective.

Rating: 5.4/10

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