Fieldwork by Armstead Brown
Fieldwork showcases the soulfully eclectic beat production of Armstead Brown and features a cadre of underground veteran MC's from NYC and Pittsburgh.
With Fieldwork, Brown weighs in on the alternative rap resurgence with sample-driven beats that cover a range of moods from the uptempo anthems "Oh (Get That Paper)" and "Party Lo", to the introspective melancholy of "Free Love." Fieldwork is an album for hip-hop fans who appreciate both depth and grittiness. Listeners can detect the influences of producers Hi-Tek, J.Dilla and Kanye West.
Although this is his first solo release, Brown is not new to the music grind. As a keyboardist, he's been a part of the live band hip-hop scenes of New York and Pittsburgh since the start of the millennium and is the co-founder of Pittsburgh's notorious hip-hop-soul medley band, Eviction Notice. The Eviction Notice lineup appears on "Get Over" which also features New York based rap crew The Dugout and internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter, Sean Jones.
The track listing for Fieldwork reads like a compilation or mixtape, but Brown is quick to assert that "this is not a mixtape, it's an album. There might be a lot of different artists on here, but it unfolds and tells a story like any good album should." Brown references the mulit-artist work of Quincy Jones and Dr. Dre's classic "The Chronic" as examples.
Tracks 16 & 17 introduce the production of fellow beatsmith Shade Cobain. On track 16 "Kangaroos" Cobain handles both beat & rhyme duties, killing it on both fronts.
Sample a few joints and you'll realize this is one of the most refreshing albums to emerge from the East Coast outerground.