Over the last few years Harry Fraud has become one of hip-hop's most unlikely production all-stars. Starting from his breakthrough Shot Caller hit with French Montana, the NY beatsmith has now worked with some of the game's biggest names.
So it's only right that Fraud has collected some of his best work on a new mixtape, Adrift. In addition to previously released work from the likes of Rick Ross, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa and more, the 23-track project also features new exclusives, including Action Bronson's Morey Boogie Boards.
DJBooth Album Review
(of a boat or its passengers) Floating without being either moored or steered.
(of a person) Without purpose or guidance; lost and confused: "adrift in a strange country".
At this point, chances are we have heard “la musica de Harry Fraud” at the beginning of our favorite track. As those who are familiar with that intro know, Adrift is more than a fitting title for the Brooklyn producer’s new mixtape. It has been four years now since he broke onto the scene with the Fraud-French Montana connection New York Minute, which saw features from Nicki Minaj and Jadakiss. Since, Fraud has put together an impressive catalog for himself with records such as French’s Shot Caller and Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J’s Stoner’s Night 2, amongst other mainstream singles.
The timing of Adrift’s release could not have been any better. We have seen bodies of work from Harry Fraud in the past, from his Curren$y collaboration Cigarette Boats and Smoke DZA’s Rugby Thompson. As great as both of those tapes were, Adrift solidifies the lane Harry Fraud has carved for himself. The mixtape cements his signature snares-and-samples sound within the new wave of hip-hop. Sticking to a formula that has found Fraud in the W column in the past, collaborators such as Wiz Khalifa, Smoke DZA, Rick Ross, and Action Bronson amongst others have all found themselves on Adrift.
What has always separated Fraud from the rest of the “new producers” pack has always been his sample selection. Playing to his strength, the Stalley collaboration Petrin Hill Peonies wave mix is an example of perfect marriage sonically. The mellow piano intro sets the perfect tone for the MMG spitter to shine on two verses letting the Charles Bradley sample handle the hook. This organic collab leaves hip-hop heads in hopes that the two will connect again in the near future.
As Harry continues to build with these artists, the chemistry with Bad Boy rapper French Montana has always stood out. In an interview with Fader, Fraud went on to talk about how his relationship with French blossomed to what it is today “We started working slowly because he was already doing what he was doing. I kinda just fit in how I fit in, slowly but surely”.
Frenchy was featured on two tracks off the tape, dropping hooks for Progidy’s Lay Low and Trae the Truth’s Wake Up. The two also connected on the street banger Garbage Bag Money which sees French drop only one verse over a very mid-2000s Heatmakers type of feel. In the same Fader interview Fraud stated, “I also think that comes with working real close with somebody. You start to understand what they like. I know how to cater to him”.
Catering to up-and-coming stars is a challenge in itself. What came to a surprise to most was when Fraud pulled off catering to a legend, Kool G Rap, so well on Tiger Uppercut. Fraud really showcased his range on Adrift, taking listeners back to the days of Adidas tracksuits, rope chains and supped up Saabs. Hearing the legend drop a 16 over a Fraud beat was the perfect mesh of the old school meeting the new. Once again Harry proving that his sound is timeless.
If there were ever a moment where people thought Harry Fraud had hit a glass ceiling, Fraud has proven that he has now made that ceiling his floor. Every generation of hip-hop has had that go-to producer because of their perfected signature sound. What Adrift did for Fraud was remind listeners that his old school samples and sharp snares are second to none when it comes to the newcomers. He cleared up any doubt of how deep his knowledge for samples actually are, proving he could hang with the best of the new kids as well as the pioneers of hip-hop.
DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins
Written by Joven Haye on Mar 08, 2013
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