Welcome To The Quiet Storm: A Primer on Drumless Rap

Roc Marciano

Boom-bap be damned! The latest micro-movement in hip-hop involves rappers layering their rhymes over production that either ditches the idea of using drums entirely or mixes any errant snares so low down in the mix as to be barely audible. Hooked around the interchangeable Action Bronson, Roc Marcy and Alchemist trifecta, here's a primer on the quiet storm that's beginning to define the tail-end of 2012's rap schedule.

See also:
- Meat Guns, Weed Brownies, and Riesling: Our Conversation With Roc Marciano
- Every Food Reference on Action Bronson's New Album Rare Chandeliers
- Party Supplies' Five-Step Guide To Making Music From YouTube

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Curren$y And The Alchemist Get Chilly On "Covert Coup"

The New Orleans-based Curren$y is a weed rapper, which means his job is to make something usually associated with directionless demotivation seem badass. The art of weed rapping is the art of bragging about surpassing low expectations, and there are a couple ways to do this: the current big mainstream WR, for instance, is probably Lil Wayne, but for Wayne weed's just one of about nine zillion obsessive symbols of his own space-alien Otherness. (No other rapper besides Andre 3000 has spent more time getting high on spaceships, but Weezy never invites you up.) Then there's the drifting, goofy warmth of Redman and Method Man, rap's acting Cheech and Chong in the 90s; or of MF Doom, who raps in free-associative mumbles and cut an album with Aqua Teen Hunger Force. These guys welcome you in, the way people who are incoherently stoned on something mellow do: the albums let you sit down, hang out a while, accept that not a whole lot's gonna happen, laugh hard. The stuff MF Doom mumbles turns out to be really clever, if you pay enough attention.

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