5 Albums That Influenced SOUL CANNON, Baltimore’s Hip-Hop from the future

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Soul Cannon

by Soul Cannon

 

Soul Cannon is a quartet, so we each picked one album that influenced us and then agreed on a fifth together. Some are newer and some are classics, but we consider all of these “must listen” records that have influenced us as musicians and people. Between the four of us, our tastes and influences cover a lot of territory, so instead of trying to represent all of that we put together a small taste.

 

Charles: Slum Village – Fantastic, Vol. 2

“This album is the embodiment of hip-hop for me. The cerebral grooves and production from J-Dilla, the obnoxious but creative bars from Baatin and T3, and the hilarious skits are what make this album my favorite. Like its predecessor, Fantastic Vol. 1, it comes off as raw but polished at the same time. This project contains some of my all-time favorite beats and it’s one I can listen to for hours.”

Eze: Nas – Lost Tapes

“I know Illmatic and Stillmatic are most people’s favorites but “Lost Tapes” is a collection of songs that didn’t make it on his previous albums. “Purple” is a song that I literally can listen to 1,000 times. Musically, it’s just a loop. Nothing too special happens but the pictures Nas paints lyrically influenced my descriptive writing. “Drunk By Myself” is one of those songs where no matter what your life is like, you go “I’ve been there”. Many of those songs didn’t make the cut because bootlegging was a thing in the industry. Your whole album would be out on the streets before it’s release so the label would take songs off and change it so there’d be a different product. I just think it’s a very special project.”

Matt: Ryan Power – They Sell Doomsday 

“Even after listening to it for a year, this album is still full of wonderful surprises. The harmonic palette alone is enough to completely captivate my attention, but the melodic sensibilities, song structures, and impeccable production each add their own musical dimensions that only serve to deepen the absorbing and inspiring qualities that keep me coming back.”

Jon: Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You

“I saw Khruangbin kind of by accident knowing nothing of them previously. They soundchecked with Nina Simone’s version of “Baltimore” and I was immediately intrigued. At the time it seemed like there was a lot more chaos in the world at large and that show was the first time I felt like things might be okay again someday. Their music embodies the sense that music can be a place inside you to which you can always return and find something good. It’s a special record and during the week after the show, I transcribed the whole thing — I was completely obsessed.”

Everyone: D’Angelo – Voodoo

“We were trying to decide on a record that all four of us love and our keyboard player said “everyone name a record they love off the top of their head” and then three people said Voodoo right away. This album was a huge influence on Soul Cannon early on and it still is. I think this record has been a timeless classic since the day it came out. Part of what we love about this album is the way the rhythm sections subdivides the beats and uses both quintuplet and septuplet swing feels, giving the grooves what Questlove has described as a “drunk” feel. It’s amazing, and makes us feel like we’ve been drinking that sizzurp.”

SOUL CANNON

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“Soul Cannon is like a perpetual version of a last minute epiphany, where we finally make sense of things that seem totally unrelated, or isolated and alone as their own separate problems. Suddenly we see this narrow almost hidden path to thread a needle through and tie everything together.” – Matt Frazão

 

 

 

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