3/6/20

Dreddy Kruger Spotlights LI Talent on Think Differently Two: The Audio Film

Album cover photo by Theophilos Constantinou
On February 7, 2020, longtime hip-hop A&R, executive producer, and jack of all trades Dreddy Kruger quietly dropped the follow-up to his acclaimed 2005 project, Think Differently Music: Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture

For those who were heavy into Wu-Tang and undground rap 15 years ago — yours truly included — that album was a touchstone moment, pairing some of the era's most respected indy rappers like MF Doom and Sean Price with Wu-Tang generals like RZA as well as killa bees like Prodigal Sunn, Timbo King and others. The project also featured several spoken word interludes voiced by independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, known throughout hip-hop ciphers for casting RZA and GZA alongside Bill Murray in the film Coffee & Cigarettes and for giving RZA his first big film-scoring gig with the modern cult classic Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai.

In a sense, Think Differently Two: The Audio Film picks up right where the earlier Think Differently project left off, once again drawing some of the most respected lyricists from both the Wu-Tang family and today's independent hip-hop scene. This time, however, Kruger has crafted the project with the stated intent to explore the cinematic potential of hip-hop music. Thus, in addition to cameos from Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino, we hear several intrumental interludes arranged like on-screen transitions and intermissions. Like its predecessor, The Audio Film is quite the ambitious compilation, but this is no conventional sequel as the new project has a totally different sound and concept, at once grittier and more cohesive than its precursor.



That sound is achieved in part via the new cast of independent rappers who appear on The Audio Film. Most of the tracks that include vocals feature more than one rapper, with just a few exceptions that are especially noteworthy here as two of the four MCs who get the opportunity to stand alone are Long Island rappers. One is Don O., of Hempstead, who has the honor of setting the scene for the single "Slate" alongside Academy Award winning screenwriter and world-famous auteur director Quentin Tarantino. Don O. aka Don the Jeweler, who's also known for his work as part of Schott "Free" Jacobs' Team Frozen, actually manages to set several scenes on the track as his restless reel jumps from "moves like the Earth's crust" to pistol whips that leave a "Rahman knot." Ouch.

The other Long Island-bred MC going for dolo on The Audio Film should be no stranger to this site's longtime visitors, as we were covering him years before the Dutch started pressing him on limited-edition colored vinyl. I'm speaking of the inimitable Rome Streetz, originally of Elmont. Rome closes out The Audio Film with the appropriately titled "End Credits," where he unspools a whole roll of slick shit in his trademark spilling syllable style.


Some cynical fools might wonder why Dreddy Kruger, a man who lives and breathes NYC, would showcase LI so prominently on this project. However, those who think back will note that the Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture lineup featured a who's who of LI MCs, namely Rock Marciano (four years before Marcberg when he still went by Rock instead of Roc), MF Doom, Aesop Rock and R.A. the Rugged Man. Furthermore, Dreddy's Think Differently was also the label behind 2008's The Box, the unreleased album from Merrick brothers Folk & Stress. But that's a story for another day. For now, nuke yourself some popcorn and enjoy The Audio Film, available on Bandcamp and Apple Music.

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