While Kaytranada is renowned in the dance music community, his work as a Hip-Hop producer often flies under the radar. These 5 tracks show his knack for production and that his latest Grammy nod for ‘Best New Artist’ is absurd. He’s not new to this, he’s a bonafide legend who’s discography is as deep as it is diverse.
5. “JIDtranada Freestyle“
JIDtranada Freestyle just dropped last month and is a perfect example of Kaytranada’s beatmaking skills. The jangly instrumental perfectly compliments JID’s whimsical flow. This new single not only highlights Kaytranada’s finely tuned ear and taste, but sounds very promising for the JID album that is (hopefully) dropping soon.
4. “Egyptian Luvr“
Rejjie Snow featuring Aminé and Dana Williams
Rejjie Snow himself described the song by saying, “To me, this song was supposed to be a song that I could imagine my parents boogieing to, just like a song that I could envision me making in, like, the ‘70s. So I tried to take that same energy to that new funk, and I just linked up with Kaytranada and made it happen.” Kaytranada showed his range and helped Rejjie Snow attain the funky sound he sought for this track. Versatility is critical for a successful producer, Rejjie wanted a 70’s vibe, but you get a beat from Kaytranada because you want it to sound like Kaytranada. Egyptian Luvr is both, Kaytranada hits the nail right on the head and the result is a bonafide banger.
This cut from Freddie Gibbs’ album You Only Live 2wice is less reminiscent of the dance beats Kaytranada is known for, trading the electronic tropes for string samples and jazzy production. This Madlib-esque instrumental could have fit on Piñata. Kaytranada produced this harder hitting track with instrumental jazz ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD who’ve worked with Mick Jenkins, Kendrick Lamar, and Kaytra himself many times in the past. Again, flexing his versatility and ear, Kaytranada comes through with a beat that puts this track into the top tier of Gibbs’ outstanding discography.
For this track, Kaytranada sampled part of Jack Arel’s “Something Happen” to create an addicting lap steel loop that fits nicely beneath Jenkin’s voice. This hypnotic track was created during the making of 99.9% and ended up being the lead single for Jenkins’ album Pieces of a Man. It exemplifies the fine chemistry between Jenkins and Kaytra and fits wonderfully within the context of the album. This track speaks for itself, its unorthodox beat melding with Jenkins’ unorthodox flow for a track that sticks in your head.
Mick Jenkins (again)
This single, also by Mick Jenkins, shows Kaytra’s ability to bring the high energy production of the dance scene into the world of Hip-Hop. This song’s upbeat instrumental evokes an energized flow from Mick Jenkins. This track lands at the number one spot because of Jenkins and Kaytranada’s unusual synergy. Jenkins’ delivery and tone serve to accentuate the manic beat, and god damn do hooks sound good over a Kaytra beat. It’s ear candy plain and simple, one of those tracks you have to play again and again just to get that hook. If you’re looking for more from this duo check out “Grey Area” from Kaytranada’s Bubba or the Ghostface Killah assisted “Padded Locks” that is also from Pieces of a Man.