In the studio this week was Green Light Gang, a west side Chicago collective of rappers and singers.
GLG has been coming to Studio 11 for years, sometimes solo dolo, other times with fellow west siders The Dutch Boys. Collectively their catalog is huge, and continues to grow. These guys have a knack for finding cool and abnormal beats, which is really refreshing for us here considering how Soundclick has changed the game.
Here we get to see Taka, working on his new joint “Blow Minds Away“, to be released on GLG’s next project. The song features a spaced out beat, a melodic hook, and a particularly “smokey” tone on the verses. The half sung vocals on the hook and uplifting feel of the beat help make this one a classic Chicago Lake Shore Drive ridin’ song.
Since the beat is still building in the beginning, we decided to start the song with an un-stacked hook to give listeners a taste of what is to come. Once the drums enter, Taka starts his verse with a direct flow, working around the beat’s interesting rhythmic aspects, with the clap only falling on the “2,” similar to a lot of Dub Music.
On the vocal mix I used some of the newer Waves pluggins from the Hybrid Line, utilizing a variation on the tape delay preset from the H-Delay. Taka’s vocals have a lot of life and dynamics on this track, and the beat had plenty of headroom, so I didn’t need to compress much…and the compression used was in parallel, using the Waves H-Comp.
Taka also has very present upper harmonics in his voice, so not much hi-shelving was needed, but I did have to do some low mid dip using the Sony Oxford GML eq. In front of the eq is a Waves R-De-esser to tame the sibilance.
The goal on this mix was to achieve a laid back, un-aggressive sound while still capturing the energy and animation. Be on the lookout for GLG’s next mixtape, coming soon.