Instrumental hip-hop should be banned. It's the banal, meandering stepchild of hip-hop. It's a front-runner for the dubious honor of being the world's most snooze-inducing form of music. And, shockingly, there are still producers and fans who insist on validating it like it's anything but sample-based Chinese water-torture — one of whom, RJD2, will be airing out his oh-so-atmospheric productions at Manor West on Wednesday, Feb.1.
Beyond playing spot-the-samples, listening to the entirety of an instrumental project from the likes of Madlib, RJD2, or J Dilla — who now presumably spends his days pestering heaven's denizens with the unreleased off-cuts from his bizarrely worshipped Donuts ruse — is a feat requiring the ability to numb your mind while practicing saintly levels of patience. Where is the joy and excitement in listening to three minutes of plodding drum beats overlaid with a short sample that repeats but goes nowhere? It's music without a start or end, without peaks and momentum — it's hip-hop without a money shot. Tragically, it also forgets what makes hip-hop so invigorating in the first place.