Is Adrian Younge The Next Questlove?

Adrian Younge is a beast and the industry is taking notice!  Is he the next Questlove?  Time will tell.  If you asked, he’d probably say that he just want to be Adrian Younge.

One thing is for sure, his movements are very similar in terms of industry respect that spans past the music industry, they both are conceptual creators (which is why I get em, being that i’m a branding/marketing guy), they both are very structured and dedicated to sound excellence.  There are a few others but to better understand where I’m going with this, one would have to understand who he is.

Before we get into his latest project 12 Ways To Die featuring Ghostface, lets play a guessing game.


  1. Guess who did the composed the original score for the rerelease of Black Dynamite in 2008 and composed the soundtrack for the Black Dynamite cartoon on Adult Swim?
  2. Guess who also edited the film?

Yup, Adrian Younge!  If you didn’t know, now ya know.  Here is the official video of “Rise Of The Ghostface Killer” off the first album Adrian Younge presents 12 Reasons to Die.

Also catch the 2 part cartoon series that was created for the original album after you finish reading this post (placed at the bottom).

It will prepare you for the energy of Adrian.It will prepare you for the energy of Adrian and his multi-dimensional artistic mind. 

On July 10, 2015 the New York Times showcased his latest review in their Press Play section,

Listen to press play allowing the stream to play as you read (not sure how long they keep it up, but if link becomes inactive, make a comment and i’ll update).

Linear Labs (LA based label headed by Adrian Younge) handled their business during this albums construction.  I’m very impressed with the attention to sound detail and live instrumentation.  Fuxk what anyone says, it gets 2 thumbs up!

In 2015, you don’t find producers that go as deep with the production process.  That dedication is a hip hop rarity, when everything is so digital and disconnected from roots of sounds.

I’m going to follow this up with another article that will go deeper on the topic but this brothers head is definitely in tuned to the greater musical force.  The type of force that makes classics and push the art of production forward.

I’d also like to thank Andrew Lojero at Linear Labs for sending over the promo package of sound, dope shxt #salute.

So let’s get to this joint!  You should head nodding right about now, if my earlier instruction to press play were taken…

Powerful One: Intro is banging hard, sounds like it was inspired from a track of one of my favorite 90’s groups, Portishead “Mysterons”. Similar structure, thats only noticable for a couple of measures.  That’s just my opinion, being that I haven’t spoken with Adrian to see what inspired the process.  If that’s the case, it’s definitely a head nod of respect towards them and not anything else.  The mainstream is unaware of Portishead, music heads knows what.

Check for yourselves…

The video for “Sour Times” has the same energy as the Rise Of The Ghostface official video.  Once again, nothing wrong with it as the essence is paying homage to the late 60’s early 70’s psychadelic hippie erotica/spy/suspense type films.  Kudos again, as the sound is identical to the energy that RZA often used… brilliant.

Return Of The Savage ft. Raekwon + RZA:   I’m enjoying the story telling flow of both Rae & Ghost.  It’s the return of the savage, so listen to the flow in context to the concept of the project.  Damn, would have been dope if RZA hopped on, but i guess it would have been too expensive… he’s hollywood priced for a branded rea$on.

King Of New York: This is a beautifully sounding piece that continues with Adrian on the bass leading the sound. Those tight snares are sweet especially with the track switch up.  Once again, they flow works with the concept.

Rise Up ft. Scarab: The high energy of this track is in my opinion consistently moving.  Its pushing the sound, pushing the speed and intensity of the artist.  Scarab freaked it appropriately.

Daily News: This joint is one of those offbeat/rhythms that I love hearing.  The off timing works for a dancers mind.  My footwork would be crazy to this, while rocking vintage polo and dancing kicks. Offbeat rhythms are always a good thing as they challenge the mind, It’s like musical math. Often heard in jazz (the swingbeat…) it makes sense that this track made the cut, letting the real music heads know that he takes this art to the heart.

(listening to it some more) Oh ok, its more of an interlude in spoken word reported like the news.  Creatively dope.

Get The Money ft. Vince Staples: The drums and that bass is just heavy and nasty, digging it.  It’s hard to find these when digging, so props when it’s replicated with a modern twist.  Vince handled the beat, he should rock more stuff like this.  Ghost sounds a different than usual, but every artist does depending on where they are at in their lives.  I would have like to hear my bragadaccio from Ghost with that strong delivery.  Lets see how the rest goes…

Death’s Invitation Interlude: I like the story and the music coinciding accordingly

Death’s Invitation ft. Scarub, Lyrics Born & Chino XL:   Excited to hear Chino, haven’t heard him spit in years.  He was a lyricist and often spoken when names like Ras Kass popped up.  intellectual spitter that would have ya mind spinning.

The speed of it all is dope, i like the dark and uncommon flow.  The shit is trippy, i’m ready to pop some shrooms and shit.  Love it though, hip hop in the 70’s sound is working.

Let The Record Spin Interlude: I keep thinking RZA about to spit, damn he could have hooked Younge up.

Let The Record Spin ft Raekwon: The church organ and that tight drum kit is hitting.  Shit needs to be played loudly.  You all have to remember this is live music and it sounds so good.  It reminds me of the this track by MC Tree Gee… I gotta listen more closely for further analysis.  Not saying it was appropriated, Tree used a sample, Adrian is playing live.

BlackOut ft Raekwon:  

Resurrection Morning ft Raekwon and Bilal:  This is #1 of my top 3 tracks up here.  Bilal can’t go wrong with adding him.  He does abstract without boundary vocals better than anyone.  Raekwon is maintaining his classic flow.  Aight Adrian, I hear what you doing brotha… this is a true jewel right here.  Ghost levels are recorded a little low or something, cause his energy isn’t matching Rae in the last few tracks I heard.

Life’s A Rebirth ft. RZA: I like the unpredictable sound direction, its like a melodic sound explosion.  Breaking it down is like doing a so-du-ko puzzle, possible when you take your time.  Impossible when you rush and overlook subtle tones and switches.  Aww, RZA still narrating and not rhyming.  But he got a dope voice for it…

Conclusion:  I like it, respect the energy and effort that went into the conception.  The creativity and embracing the late 60’s/70’s sound is admirable.  We don’t see enough of this level of musicianship anymore.  I think he’s a new breed of producers who are multi-disciplined (like myself).  They produce, are into films, play instruments, a true renaissance men and I can’t wait to see what’s cooking up next.

Oh yea, I co-sign!

More coming cause Linear Labs is bringing straight flavor!  Did y’all peep that Delfonics video they did #Dopeness… #mrkuyateh #brooklynLoHead #staydipped

Episode 1

Episode 2

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