A quality sound system is to a quality hip hop beat as glasses are to a near-sighted person. Without the glasses, objects present their essence but their full value is not clearly defined. Similarly, pumping hip hop beats through a sound system without enough amplification or clarity will inevitably cause the production’s integrity suffer. Sure, producers tweak and mix their tracks for a very, very wide range of speakers and headphones, but the closer you can get to hearing them through studio quality products, the more the ultimate intention of the mix starts to really shine through. Here’s an example for you: hip hop producer Cardo‘s new single My Old$chool.
If laptop speakers are your only listening resource at the moment, better hit up your friend with the Beats headphones. Should he decline, offer him donuts and a turn to listen. It’s worth it to ingest this track that’s fresh off Cardo‘s new Everything is Gold EP, released on the reliable hip hop/electro/progressive Fool’s Gold record label. My Old$chool is delivered in pristine condition, offering up glistening MPC-manufactured synthesizer samples and big bass. Though instrumental hip hop beats might seem dime-a-dozen these days, the production on this particular piece has a mood that breathes pure hip hop luxury. When the beat drops at :28, crisp green $100 bills rain down with odors of lit grape blunt wraps filling the air.
Though its tempo is a relaxed one, clocking in at around 70 BPM, the instruments quicken the pace by filling in the empty spaces. Particularly the omnipresent bass synth that carries through the mix, and the high notes repeating staccato at a pace to quicken the listener’s heart beat; they all contribute to a head-nodding beat with low tempo and high stakes.
Being the typical hard-working prolific producer, Cardo has supplied numerous hip hop artists with beats that include Wiz Khalifa at their most prominent and notable. His collaborations also include Mac Miller, Nipsey Hussle, Mikey Rocks, Young Jeezy, Wale, Rockie Fresh, Slim Thug, and even Chief Keef. Sit back, press play, and you’ll understand why he’s in such high demand.