• Kristopher Kesoglides

DJ SANiTY & Kapo Deliver East Coast G House, Vol. 2: House Music x Hip Hop Done Right

From the left: Mav'Rick, Chillz, SANiTY, Kapo at the East Coast G-House music video shoot
From the left: Mav'Rick, Chillz, SANiTY, Kapo at the East Coast G-House music video shoot

Paint fumes and break beats. They had skid marks on their sneakers and a ringing in their ears; There was a microphone in one hand, and an aerosol can in the next. The vinyls continuously rotated until they were tastefully dribbled and dragged.

The East Coast G-House movement, a culmination of NYC and east coast cultures throughout the past few decades, brings together a variety of artistic mediums in a brand new light, and in a brand new era. A collective of DJ/producers, MCs, graffiti artists, dancers and flow artists exchange energies to cultivate a multi-sensory experience.

Not to say that it hasn’t been done before, but it’s never been done on this level, with this genre of music. Demitri Kesoglides aka SANiTY / DJ SANiTY describes it as “a proper fusion of gritty/ house electronic beats and raw East coast hip-hop bars.” A seamless synergy is hard to come by, but the relationship of producer and MC has been reignited and reimagined in this novel genre. The product is therefore not a forced collaboration, but rather a mutual effort. The first project put this all on display.

Over the years, the nuances of sound design and music production have evolved, and naturally, the flow and rhythm of hip hop artists have adapted. It has allowed new genres and sub-genres to establish themselves in this ever growing industry. East Coast G-House is a byproduct of this natural evolution, and Volume 2 marks the pinnacle of lyricists rapping over electronic dance music.

East Coast G House Volume 2 album artwork designed by SJK 171

Track by track:

The album begins with an intro skit, a nod to one of the cornerstones of hip-hop, and bleeds into the first track, “Jump Off.” Mav’Rick and Chillz lead the way, and exchange bars for a good minute and a half before any beat drops. Atop a layer of dark and eerie strings, the MCs go back and forth reiterating their ingenuity with genre bending in lines like “sayin we cut from a similar cloth, that ain’t comparable,” and “shuffle and Harlem shake, mix it and blend it.” They drive the energy of the track up until a siren transitions the song into a grimy, bassline-led drop from Kapo and SANiTY. "We had both MCs rewrite verses in the studio on the day of recording, because one dude didn't wanna be one-upped by the other with better bars. The competitive energy in the room was the epitome of hip-hop," SANiTY said of the record.

Properly named “G-House,” the next song thrives on subtle bass lines and quirky melodies from London-based producer idontsleep. J.O. Stoneheadz takes it home with his wordplay infused chorus, “You might think you a G, but you can’t step in my house. We got the keys, that’s why we call it G-House.”

A light snare on the upbeat of “M.O.F.O.” allows the song to seamlessly transition into a halftime bounce beat. Kazeta, Enonomous and Poppin’ link to provide a high energy house record, with touches of autotune and earworm adlibs.

Elements of tech and deep house manifest in “Zen House.” A slightly down-tuned BLKZEN vocal loop fronts a driving production from Chris Sonix and Sound.E.

“Zero Gravity” launches the album into another dimension. DiploMatt provides a foreboding tension with alien-like soundbites and Modo perfectly encapsulates the energy and theme of the production. “I can moonwalk,” he sings, on what sounds like a G-House soundtrack to JAWS in space.

Kapo -- one of the executive producers of the project -- teams up with Papi Shank again on “Toma,” this time pushing a sound that hits the streets, bounces in the club, and breaks in the bedroom...all while mixing electro, latin, and trap leanings.

“Oceans” introduces the first female MC on the album with Queens-based FBOMB. Her flow deftly plays with the rhythm changes from SANiTY and Hot 97 On-Air Mixer DJ Rich Kidd. FBOMB cleverly rides the drip metaphor and utters “splash” before the beat bounces into a techy buoyant drop, featuring elements of house and jersey club.

CT-based female MC Detta! delivers gritty bars for a full three and a half minutes on yet another DiploMatt production, “Take ‘Em Out," while J.O. Stoneheadz and King F.L.O. share a dynamic call and response track with “Levels," produced by idontsleep.

SANiTY revisits an earlier release in his call-and-response track “Lose It!,” adding Modo’s vocals to produce a catchy club anthem. The record "originally started as a freestyle in the studio," SANiTY says.

“The Greatest” emanates a nostalgic energy, as Kapo samples an old record in true hip-hop fashion. Meanwhile, R. Legend transforms his smooth cadence into a manic persona as the track progresses from hip hop to house.

Idontsleep and BoGrilLZ create the London connection again, with a collaboration that pushes a dark, driving ambience on “Bonfire" -- complete with a U.K. drill breakdown.

“Life’s Stranger” is a song I helped write and produce. Our goal was to bring the lead vocalist's (Elise, of our band Fine Life) powerful and soulful vocals into the G-House world, in a way that complemented and evolved the sound. SANiTY and I borrowed elements from classic house and deep house, leaving room for Poppin’ to do lyrical justice on the verse, while working together with Elise to perform a demanding call and response duet. The song’s title is a double entendre and each vocalist tackled the concept in their own unique way.

“Drew Ham” finishes off the compilation with a trio of Harlem-based artists. It’s filled with bars, beats, groove and soul - a fitting way to close out the project.

With a total of 15 tracks by 24 artists, East Coast G-House Volume II is a massively versatile venture. The listening experience is fluid and the accompanying visuals lucid. Shot at Studio Z in Queens, and directed by Blake of Dreamtone studio, the music video medley features the first five tracks from the album, along with art by legendary old school graffiti artists. SJK 171, Mike 171 and Taki 183 provide large, graffiti-infused murals that create a backdrop for the vibrant cypher. The video retains its grit and grime by cutting back and forth from the sound stage turned industrial warehouse to b-roll footage of neighborhoods that some of the artists originate from; Harlem, Washington Heights, Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Paterson New Jersey are just a few locations shown, representing the East Coast.

This immersive experience proves that G-House is a crossover that not only holds its ground, but pushes the boundaries as a transmedia endeavor.

Check out the official music video below, and stream on all platforms HERE!

Photocredits: Crust Nation / IBoatNYC

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square