PRODUCER: YEOJ
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Yeoj World 3, the long-awaited third instalment of the eponymous producer’s mixtape series starring friends and collaborators from across the hip-hop spectrum. The usual suspects crop up here (Josen, Dawszn), as well as plenty of new connections (30Rock, Loudpack Kap). The majority of these artists (there’s only really a couple of superfluous tracks here) helps the producer craft a tight, concise project that throws more curveballs than you might expect.

yeoj’s ear for melody has always been excellent, and ultimately his beats have almost always fared best when paired with an artist equally suited to more ambitious atmospheric territory. ‘Today’ is an early highlight that excels in this department, as Josen continues to establish himself as a serious threat with the autotune, each and every line ending up an earworm mini-hook. As one of the seven songs without a co-producer, ‘Today’ represents the best example of yeoj’s pure, undiluted chemistry with a rapper. As their second dope collab in a row, I’d encourage these two to work together a lot more. ‘Skyfall’ is almost as effective, recruiting past collaborator Dawszn for a mid-tape highlight that builds on slick keys and skittish percussion before launching into a subtly-crooned hook. I strongly feel that much of the producer’s best work resides on this tape, other prime examples being the breezy ‘Ducati’, which features a breathless appearance by UNDAWORLD rapper Flacko444, and the synthy ‘Superstar’, the epic closer rammed with youthful exuberance courtesy of Boywonder.

And this is of course without mentioning the many songs yeoj worked with fellow producers on, many of which are by far Yeoj World 3’s strongest materials. ‘Designer’ is a team up with fucmarty that incorporates a hazy synth into an autotune-fueled banger led primarily by the vocal talents of Dieplug. it’s a massive stylistic shift from ‘Today’’s almost morosely melodic style, but the continuation of yeoj’s thumping drums gives the songs a running theme of frenetic, breakneck energy. However, I think the most entertaining and somewhat surprising team up is the Loudpack Kap-led ‘Real’. Here, yeoj works alongside louch to create a futuristic, mechanical beat that gives Kap a perfect backdrop to flex over. The lyrical change is initially a little disarming, but the appearance of Kap gives the tape a newfound wind that carries it through a handful of slightly weaker moments in its midsection.

In general, it is undeniable that Yeoj World 3 achieves something its predecessors could not: it invites a more diverse list of artists into the fray that complement the titular producer’s potency for harder, grittier beats very effectively. Although there’s a couple that could have been cut without the tape losing much of its pacing, none of these tracks are duds and the best ones (the three-peat of ‘Today’, ‘Designer’ and ‘Real’ being the absolute highlight) are among the strongest of any artist involved. Thanks to this tape, I was also put on to some very dope artists I hadn’t encountered prior such as the soulful-voiced July Frvr (‘Hellcat Luv’). I feel as if, as well as displaying his talent in abundance, yeoj aims to introduce the world to some of his favourite upcoming and underrated artists. As a blog firmly in support of finding new artists and producers in this manner, I can think of no better format for fresh artist discovery than a tape as enjoyably eclectic as this.

Stream the tape in full right here.

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