Paging Donald Blake...

I'm always on the hunt for new, refreshing and exciting music, and I love the fact that I haven't had to leave the comfort of my state to do it... DJ Nappy has the thugstep thing on lock, and has also helped usher in the Wired Weird era... he has now introduced me to one of the nicest producers I've heard in a while, NJ's own J. Past, through a mixtape he has compiled entitled Introducing Dr. Donald Blake (which can be downloaded for free HERE). He's a younger cat, not even legal drinking age yet, but his production is on point. This collection, from what I understand, is his first forray into giving the public free mixtape loveliness, and boy is it an interesting bag.

First off, you guys might be wondering, "what in the hell is a Donald Blake, and why is Thor on the cover of his mixtape?" Well, wonder no more: the extension is more than that, though. In the vein of artists like Kool Keith, MF Doom, Madlib and others who are known to shapeshift to fit other personalities, J has crafted Donnie Blake to represent another side of his evolving musical personas, and the story told in this mix helps build the mystique. With nicely chosen samples from old school Thor tales on wax, the mixtape is ushered along nicely. And that selection...

When you peep the tracklist, you might be inclined to peg J with crews like Caps & Jones or Sound Advice, units that are known for mashing up all genres in all shapes and sizes into one interesting mix. You actually wouldn't be far from the truth, in that respect, but the feeling behind Donald Blake is a bit more Hip-Hop than some of their efforts. He still manages to throw Jay-Z over "Rock Me Amadeus", but this collection sees the world through gazelles, not aviators. Plus, the tracks truly play off of the interludes: there's one section where Don Blake visits his lady in the hospital, and the interlude is talking about him trying to figure out what was going on in his absence, and then it delves into tracks dealing with struggle and such. My personal favorite, however, is where J. Past gets to flex his beautiful production chops on "Deadly Combination Remix", where he flips 3 of his illest beats under the 2Pac/Big L/Biggie collabo of "Deadly Combination". Wonderful stuff.

In speaking to J about this compilation, he just wants to be heard. His motivation? Well, he is just vibing off the music that he enjoys. This is his first forray into creating projects of this nature, and he just hopes to get enough heads out there feeling his work to create a new one. It's good to have cats who are purely just looking for people to listen, react, then build, as opposed to trying to "get on", making tracks or mixes to get gigs or radio shows or whatever the fuck. I mean, if that happens, so be it, but don't let that be what makes you create. It has to be deeper than that, and its really surprising to have someone understand that early on, and continue to better themselves...

At the end of the day, we are given an interesting blend of tracks, interwoven in a solid narrative, all of which paints a portrait of an up and coming producer that definitely needs to be heard. If you sleep on this, you're missing out. Remember who told you first...

if you are looking for more DJ J. Past info, check the following links:
J Past.com
J Past's MySpace Page
Donnie Blake's MySpace Page

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