The New York Times ran an article on a huge American producer who uses Fruity Loops to make his rap beats. It's the same software the guys in Kisumu use, so I put together this little video. Read below for the full story.
Yesterday's New York Times magazine had an article about 20-year-old rap producer Lex Luger. Written in the bemused tone of a high school guidance counselor describing the work of a talented but troubled student, the article focuses on Luger's production technique. The drums boom like a drunk marching band and the synths are thick and loud enough to make the most reserved '70s German electro artist well up with pride. Every sound is loud, every pause pregnant, and the whole thing is mastered in a way that makes professional recording engineers cringe (and irrelevant). Hard raps about corner drug deals fine-tuned for playback through tiny speakers on thousand-dollar Macs, each song has millions of hits and makes me want to bang my head and drink grain alcohols til socio-economic cognitive dissonance is the least of my concerns.
The important thing is that the kid made all of these beats using a shitty laptop and a pirated copy of Fruity Loops recording software--EXACTLY the same setup every rapper and producer we met in Kisumu used. Moreover, they use this setup for the exact same reasons. Fruity Loops takes about 20 minutes to learn, runs on computers with very low memory, and comes in a file size small enough to download with the slowest internet connections. It comes equipped with hundreds of sounds pre-loaded and a simple interface even wide-eyed New York Times rap writers could figure out. From Iowa to Angola to India to China kids are using this software (without paying the company a dime...oops). So what's keeping the next Lex Luger from being from one of these places? Not much, I imagine--the equipments the same, the skills are the same, the drugs are the same, the incentive is the same. I just hope Raw Music can be there to see it happen.
While we wait for the next breakout star, here are a couple dope tracks by our boys Eli Sketch and LaFam in Kisumu, made using Fruity Loops of course...
LaFam, Alphabet (Vic), Brayo -- Sire (this is the song that plays through most of the video). RMI: Sire by LaFam, Alphabet, and Soul Afriq (Heavy Kenyan Hip Hop) by RawMusicInternational
Eli Sketch- Violin Song