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New hip-hop/ beats album from Nick Speed (UR) on Moodymann’s label Mahogani Music. Moodymann’s Mahogani institute break off a raw and soulful hip hop session from Nick Speed aka Nicholas. Proper MPC beats are in order; 20 short and efficient ideas ranging from bass-heavy blues bumps to Dilla-esque funk chop-ups, one wicked auto-tune R&B nugget and nuff crispy neck snappers.

Erstwhile producer to the very biggest names in hip-hop, and one of Fiddy’s G-Unit faces, Nick Speed has flown the coop to develop his own solo career with the help of KDJ’s Mahogani imprint. And he’s making quite the statement; The Beat Down sizzles with myriad inspirations and influences, pitching Speed somewhere between Kanye and Dangermouse. At one moment we’re marching to the military heritage of “Say Good Bye”, the next moment our heads are revolving deliriously at the savage 8-bit techno wheezes of “The Agent”. Blurring the lines between electronica, hip-hop and raw soul, this is an engaging listen that captivates from start to finish.

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