Knowing The Blackedge: Valkyrie
After doing my second article on my boy Tako.to, I decided to do an article on another beatmaker he introduced to me a couple of years back named Phil who goes by his artist name, The Blackedge. Compared to Tako, The Blackedge is more into making the type of beats like Psyche Hip-Hop and Experimental Hip-Hop Umbrella. Now if you're like me, you're wondering what type of hip-hop is that right? Well, let's put it like this the way Phil explained it to me. Experimental Hip-Hop Umbrella is none traditional cadence, like dark and touches of melancholy vibes while sampling different types of tempos. Psyche Hip-hop which is short for Psychedelic Hip-Hop which is focused on Drug use, (I don't think he means you need to be on drugs to make those beats or understand it, I hope), and it also has a very ambient sound. Those types of hip-hop genre sound dark and twisted right, but those who are familiar with those genres mostly listen to Madlib, MF Doom, Knxwledge, Flying Lotus, etc.
At a very young age, Phil was put into hip-hop by his father around 7 years old, listening to The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, and "Uncle" LL Cool J, and since then, Phil was hooked. He started making beats and rapping around the age of 14 years old. He wanted to make his own sounds and beats because, at that time, there wouldn't any type of beats he wanted he could find on Youtube, and like many beatmakers and producers, he started with FL Studio. His top 3 producers that served as an influence for him, were The Alchemist, DJ Premier, and 9th Wonder. Other than them, The Blackedge's favorite producers are Tuamie, Iman Omarie, Knxwledge, Madlib, and J. Dilla. The Blackedge released a couple of projects throughout the years. His first one being Misfit Mixtape, which is hard to find according to Blackedge, it's maybe lost in the vaults somewhere. He later did Majestic Hyper Ghost, WAHNTHAC (2018), Lunar Stellar (2019), and Valkyrie which is the newest project he did earlier this year in January 2020. Valkyrie is my first experience to The Blackedge's work, so let's see what it is all about.
Valkyrie is a diverse 6 track instrumental project from Blackedge. It starts with the track "Lenneth" and it sounds very hip-hop with the sampling and production style as the famous Los Angeles producer The Alchemist. Then it switches to a completely different vibe with "Nibulung" which sounds a little bit rock because of the sampling but I can imagine rappers with the same style of Lupe Fiasco rapping to this kind of beat. The vibe switches to a more contemporary hip-hop style with the track "Valesti", and the way Blackedge plays with the instrumental, is a very Alchemist resemblance, I can see why he's an influence to The Blackedge. "Silmeria" has the mix of vibes of the two earlier tracks "Nibulung" and "Valesti", and the sampling of the vocals in "Silmeria" is nicely well put in the track itself. The EP finishes with the 2 tracks, "Odin" which has more of a dark vibe to it and the voices that Blackledge added to the track, makes it sound like the beat is hunted. "Hrist" being the last track of the EP, is the second most straight hip-hop track in the album, but it's the drums on this one that makes this track stand out.
At first, I was skeptical about the way Valkyrie was switching from vibe to vibe, then I came with the conclusion that The Blackedge showed that he can be very diverse when it comes to producing his beats, which is good because he doesn't stick to one style and it can open doors for people like him to work with different artists. I noticed in different tracks in Valkyrie that Blackedge loves to play around with the instrumental, which can make it his signature move. What can expect more from The Blackedge? In the following months, he's going to be working on more singles and he's going to towards more into rap songs. Honestly, with his style of production, I can see rappers like Tyler The Creator, Lupe Fiasco, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, etc, rapping on his beats. You can follow The Blackedge on his Spotify page to listen to Valkyrie and his older project, also to be up to date with his upcoming work. Be on the lookout, as Montreal and Laval are going to expand artistically.