Darkest Before Dawn is a Bay Area compilation featuring a collection of the most talented and dopest hip-hop artists in the Bay Area. The compilation includes 9 completely new tracks from over 15 different artists produced exclusively by SMKA. The project is hosted by Thizzler on the Roof and presented by C4 Belts. The project was recorded over 4 months in San Francisco at 37 Hundred Studios.
Artists on the project includes: Mistah Fab, The Jacka, Roach Gigz, DaVinci, DB The General, Erk Tha Jerk, iamsu!, Moe Green, Nio Tha Gift, Willie Joe, A-1, Young Gully, Shady Blaze, Symba, Zumbi, Richie Cunning, Amaar & Cousin Fik.
DB Tha General x DaVinci – Know Bout Us (prod. SMKA)
Mistah Fab x Willie joe – Automatic (Prod. SMKA)
SPIN MAGAZINE “Rap’s Most Slept-On Releases of 2012′s Fourth Quarter”
Highlights: “Know About Us,” “Ain’t a Thing,” “On Me”
RIYL: Jay Ant and Iamsu!’s STOOPID, Blue Sky Black Death, those Violator compilations
Atlanta production crew SMKA cram 15 rappers onto nine tracks and an outro, moving from slow-growing soul beats to ATLien snap to Bay Area minimalist bliss. What stands out about this single-producer/entire-region mixtape is the way that everyone wobbles just a little bit off-balance by all the pan-regional sound-hopping going on. No one is in their comfort zone, but that works because this is a dozen-plus oddballs — ALL-CAPS double-time from DB Tha General, the fast-rap humanism of Shady Blaze, the slap & bullshit of Amaar and the Jacka, just to name a few — one after another, gripping onto different parts of these beats, exploring their voices. It helps that the models for Bay Area rap remain truly weird legends like the elastic-voiced E-40 and the late Mac Dre.
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