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Best local producer: Illastrate

Staff Pick

Too many beatmakers. Not enough producers. That's the problem with rap. Fort Wayne, Ind., native ILLASTRATE, however, is part of the solution. Like the scent of empty aerosol paint cans, Illastrate's neck-snapping dirty drums and boom-bap time signatures remind us why we first fell in love with hip-hop. It's fresh, especially at a time when the genre's auto-tuned out with oversaturated electro production techniques. Such collabos as Black Noise starring Aarophat of Youngstown, Ohio, showcase Illa's ability to marry the music with the MC. And his recent hookups with such Atlanta-based MCs as Ozy Reigns, Señor Kaos and Mojo Swagger prove class is back in session among Atlanta's true-school. www.myspace.com/dirtydrumz.
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