Hive Five: The Hood Internet’s Musical Discoveries of 2011

Photo courtesy of the Hood Internet Facebook

Since 2007, Chicago production duo the Hood Internet have owned the mash-up game, releasing a slew of mixtapes that tap into an Internet hit-making formula: one part hip-hop mainstay (R. Kelly, Kanye West, members of Cash Money) with one part blogsphere darling (!!!, Crystal Castles, members of Broken Social Scene). In 2012, they plan to make itself better known as a production duo with Feat, their forthcoming album of original material. But as we continue to look back on 2011 this week, the Hood Internet’s STV SLV pitched in with a few out-of-the-box moments that got their ears percolating this year.

1. Moombahton versions of rap songs (Skinny Friedman’s rework of Juicy J’s “Who Da Neighbors,” Willy Joy’s take on the Throne’s “N***s in Paris”)

New “genres” or sub-genres, especially with electronica or dance music, is usually piggybacking off something that’s been done – so in this case, slowed-down Dutch house music. At first I was just thinking, “I see how [moombahton] could be its whole world, but I’m not sure if I’d want to listen to a whole set of this.” But like with any music genre over time, I’ve developed my own taste for it — in particular, moombahton versions of rap tracks. We played some shows in Brazil last month, and we kept playing those two songs in our set.

2. Snoop Dogg’s non-Auto-Tuned singing on Mayer Hawthorne’s “Can’t Stop”

I love that whole Mayer Hawthorne record. It’s one of my favorites of the year, hands down. Before I’d heard the record, I saw that it features Snoop Dogg and assumed would be a rap verse. And then I saw he was singing. And it wasn’t Auto-Tuned at all. I loved that.

I don’t have a problem with Auto-Tuning … but I like when people who don’t have to use it, use it. T-Pain is a really great singer. He does not need Auto-Tune; he uses it primarily for effect — unlike some other singers, who I don’t think should pitch without it.

3. Procatinator

It’s funny, because it’s almost nothing new from the Internet at all.

4. Supreme Cuts’ Trouble EP and Elite Gymnastics’ Ruin LP

Every once in a while, someone makes a record and you’re blown away. When it’s one of your friends, you get more excited. Supreme Cuts is totally a group like that. They made this futuristic R&B music, and it’s so cool. The vinyl’s unbelievable. The Elite Gymnastics record is really awesome. It’s sort of the same collection of songs on each side, Ruin I on the A side and Ruin II on the B side, the B side being sort of spacier, tripped-out version of the more pop-oriented songs on the A side. These guys from Minneapolis are also friends; Minneapolis was my hometown before I went to Chicago. There’s one track called “Minneapolis Belongs to You,” and it’s a cool track from my view of home.

Just two very two new groups making incredible music, my favorite under-the-radar records.

5. The Rick Ross Grunt

My favorite appearance of it is every single time it happens in one of his songs, ever.