Conn-Shawnery CSO2: Connduction – Instrumentals & Oddities (independent)
“Instrumental oddity” is a great way to describe Prairie-reared, Montreal-based musician-cum-hip-hop-tick-tack-tition Conn-Shawnwery.
Let’s tell the story in reverse. When Shawn Murray landed in Montreal sometime in the late ’90s, he near-instantaneously found himself manning strings and percussion for roots funk outfits like Free Oxygen and Dibondoko, then-mainstays on the local freaky-people-dance-pah’tay circuit.
Sound engineering and record rubbin’ helped pay the bills, and the PLUR-era rave scene had already etched itself permanently in elevated ink across Conn’s medulla oblongata.
MPCs, keys, crates, hits and licks became the natural outlet for a talent with a skill set that could have become its own undoing. Luckily, Conn is no over-achiever. He took his time to figure out what the people really wanna hear while the technical tools of his trade evolved alongside his own qualities.
Where other producers falter in growth, allowing missteps to become their evolutionary signature, the maturity of a Shawnery demonstrates itself now twice in a single year – a lifetime to most working in hip hop circles.
With last fall’s CS01, Conn’s collaborative debut featuring ex-God Made Me Funky, soul hustlin’ frontman Wayne Tennant and international indie rap dark horse BluRum13 still ringin’ hard ’n’ true, this follow-up, b-side-styled LP comes as a pleasant surprise.
Not because of how dope it is. Truth told, the sequel is better, like on some Nolan/Batman shit. What’s crazy is hearing how quickly patience ramps up to productivity. Each record could have remained unfinished labours of a love spreading itself too thin. Instead, it is now clear they are preludes to greatness.
This collection of instrus, alongside Rum-fuelled, Tenant-occupied rhythms, moves like hard house, shuffles like cards, pops like champagne and hip hops like “what?!” through 15 tracks that humbly present themselves as what’s left, but truthfully design the hereafter for Montreal’s groove soundscape. No grift, no con.
Azealia Banks “Succubi”
This new track by the Harlem hip hop princess was produced by AraabMuzik, and addresses her bizarre beef with rapper Jim Jones (not the mass-murdering cult leader guy) about the term “vamping.”
Talib Kweli feat. Kendrick Lamar & Curren$y “Push Thru”
Take of tour of the artists’ respective hometowns of Brooklyn, Compton and New Orleans in this USA-spanning clip.