Record Label: Creative Juices Music
“I like to tap into people’s imaginations. When I spit, I try to make movies with my words…” Armed with his unique delivery, gruff voice, and sharp wit, U.G. is well-equipped to do just as he wishes when he hits the booth. Whether on his own or earning critical acclaim as one-half of the Cella Dwellas, the Brooklyn rapper has been a giant amongst the NYC rap underground since ’94. And on Portals, his long anticipated solo debut, he proves exactly why so many look his way for music that’s incredibly fresh, and completely his own.
Portals is a 14-track journey into just what U.G. set out to accomplish—a movie-like atmosphere anchored by well complemented production (entirely from IDE) and extraordinary rapping. That much was evident on lead single, “The Mystic,” which is equally eccentric in its wordplay and technical displays as U.G. flows over the creeping instrumental. Elsewhere, the BK spitter taps into his cinematic vision with joints like the harrowing “Might & Magic,” and the super-grimy, “Ready for War.”
Interestingly enough, U.G. credits his movie-like approach with what makes his music so appealing to his fans. “That inner-kid comes out of them when they hear that stuff,” he says. “We (U.G. and IDE) are both visual artists as far as our approach to sound is concerned.”
Beyond the concept, the rapper and producer just love Hip-Hop culture and wanted to represent it right. They may be taking a Boom bap excursion into another dimension—and likely one in a distant galaxy—on Portals, but this is pure, raw, unadulterated Hip-Hop to the bone gristle.
Portals is set to drop Oct 21st via Creative Juices Music, and will be available on Compact Disc as well all major digital retailers and streaming platforms. Its features include Mista Sinista, DJ White Shadow, Celph Titled, Life Long, and Necro.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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