5/24/17 – The Midnight Eez “The Midnight Eez” (2011)

So the story goes that David Splice (co-founder of Dublin based label All City Records) was given a sample mixtape to listen to by two kids in the Bronx in the 90’s. Their music went unlistened to until a house move, where he found the hidden treasure and decided to release it on his label. He doesn’t know anything other than their name “The Midnight Eez” and no one has stepped forward so far. Like a time capsule, this album is a time machine to 90’s New York Hip-Hop. It’s all instrumental beats, but the unmistakable boom bap of that era is all over this album. On one hand I love this album for the sheer talent and quality of it, but I also feel bad that no one had the chance to rap over these beats (yet), and their abilities never came to fruition.

Given that the album is a portal to the past, it’s got to stack up to the legendary Hip-Hop albums of the 90’s, as well as appeal to modern ears. Surprisingly it stands out among both, with smooth and memorable beats. Their sampling is clean and crisp, and it’s shocking how good the production is on this album, given how they were just two unknown kids back then. The 14 songs go by so fast, but none of the songs tend to drag or feel stretched thin, which is a major pitfall of instrumental Hip-Hop. Midnight Anthem, The Plan, Dust, and Our Own Business are just some of my favorites on this album, but it was hard to pick. The songs all just flow into each other so well, but they each have their own distinct personality.

This album is a must-have by any fan of 90’s Hip-Hop, no questions about it. Although obviously not nearly not as influential, I really feel it belongs with the greats of instrumental Hip-Hop in that era (Petestrumentals [2001] and Shades of Blue [2003] come to mind). Even if you’re just simply looking for something chill to listen to, this album is for you.

 

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