Following The DJ - Tuamie "The Gift Vol. 4"

Discovering new music in today's world is practically effortless. Depending on your preference, there are multiple music outlets online, allowing you to listen to and purchase music digitally via iTunes, Pandora, Amazon or Spotify. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with these companies, then you probably still listen to music in a traditional format like radio, TV, or maybe you are overwhelmed with the amount of options to choose from and gave up.

If you're a hip-hop fan like me, you can easily discover new music by turning on the radio and tuning in to one of the first clear signals that comes through. Hot 97 in NY, Power 99 in Philly, Power 106 in LA, Hot 107.9 in Atlanta; most major cities have a primary radio station dedicated to hip-hop.

You can also hop online and visit music blogs like EgoTripLand, Pitchfork, MassAppeal, Consequence Of Sound, SampleFace, or PotholesInMyBlog to get your daily dose of what's fresh. The ease of finding music to listen to has become greater now that most people in the world own smartphones and these big companies like iTunes have an app to preview and download music straight to your device.

In today's world, this is considered the norm. I tend to follow these blogs myself for what's new, but earlier this year I focused on a different source; The DJ.

American Hip-Hop Producer and DJ, Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan, has been an essential person in the continually rising growth of the Motown scene in Detroit and has been given the title by peers: “Hip-Hop's Ambassador to the World”.  Four-time winner of “Best Hip-Hop DJ” and a long time resident at hip-hop staple, St. Andrews Hall, from 1994-2004, House Shoes has also been credited as one of the first people to shop some of J Dilla's early beats when he went under the “Jay Dee” moniker back in 1994. He continues to carry the Dilla torch today.

Like many J Dilla fans, I started researching more and more about his music and wanted to find other producers and DJ's affiliated with him. If you watch any of the documentaries or read anything that has surfaced since Dilla's passing, you'll quickly start to see the name “House Shoes” circulating. There is an entire series of videos online produced by another Detroit native, Jeedo and his “Bling47” label, that interview some of Dilla's peers and dissects some of his most famous work. There are about six videos from House Shoes where he talks about how and why Dilla sampled the records he did and you can listen to first-hand accounts of stories he shares and can start to understand the relationship they had. From here I started following House Shoes and his music. I quickly got hip to more amazing music from underground artists as well as more unheard Dilla material.

Over a year ago back in March of 2013, House Shoes started an inaugural free download release via his SoundCloud account of compilation “beat tapes” from young, undiscovered artists he felt deserved more recognition from the masses. House Shoes states: “…a series where I will be spotlighting producers and artists you may not be aware of. Each volume will be curated from prior bandcamp/soundcloud releases as an introduction to cats who have released prior material that I feel hasn't reached its potential audience like it should.”

Fast forward later that year to November, The Gift Vol. 4 featured Atlanta beat maker and mystery man, Tuamie. Just as House Shoes quoted in the release in regards to the music, “I was floored” - I too share the same enthusiasm.

Tuamie's beats are reminiscent of J Dilla and Madlib. The sounds are very chill, intriguing and raw. Laced with hard-hitting drums with a lot of attack, obscure samples, hints of jazz and old-school R&B grooves they have a unique quality that holds its own.

The Gift Vol. 4 is a mix of different beats pulled from different self-releases on Tuamie's Bandcamp page as well as some highlights from his debut release on GrandGarden Records, “Masta Killa”. The compilation is sprinkled with musical treats for any hip-hop lover.

Catchy vocal samples on tracks like “Reoccurring Feeling of Loneliness” & “The More Weed Smoke I Puff” will have you humming along to each note. The jazzy hooks on “No Limitations”, “Plant”, and “High Eyes” will keep your melodic taste buds satisfied while sample heads and hip-hop aficionados can find joy in recognizing flips on tracks like “Feed Em Gunpowder” and “Eva-re-moanin”. All in all, this album stays true to hip-hop form and it is noted, stating that all beats were made using only records and an MPC.