An introduction to a friend’s mixtape is not the place to discuss the merits and potential pitfalls of new music production technology. However, a few biographical details (with a touch of autobiography!) make a mention of some of Fruity Loops’ blessings necessary.
Milo, the producing half of the duo behind this mixtape, is the younger brother of an old friend, the keenest of mash up monsters, my main man Tyler. Tyler and I go back to the days when free throws decided the difference between having two lunches and no lunch and basketball games were hotly contested (one of my famous flying elbows resulted in Tyler receiving stitches on his eye lid…nine years later I’m lucky if I can even make it down the court). Here we are, two fine basketball playing young gents with an interest in making beats. We both got Fruity Loops, started sampling, and made some crude little Hip-Hop frankensteins.
Fast forward to about a year ago. Milo discovers Tyler’s Fruity Loops and collection of samples. He starts playing around with his brother’s musical collection, making beats that, unsurprisingly, sound a lot like Tyler’s old shit. Milo would send me batches of beats, I’d give him feedback, but he seemed at the beginning like more of a hobbyist than anything else, an explorer in a web of funny children’s songs and barber shop quartet loops.
But Milo started progressing. Quickly. He dug for his own samples, anywhere he could get them. He kept sending beats–he starting to send more beats. I began looking forward to weekly updates, looking for signs of progress which often abounded.
In the midst of all this it bears mentioning, of course, that Milo is 16 years old. Maybe 17, it’s hard to keep track of these youngsters now’re days.
So after months of growth and work, Milo has assembled an 18 song mixtape with mc Suspence. It’s got some gems on it. It’s not perfect, but that’s not the point. It’s so much more advanced than I could have imagined that its highs and its lows suggest the growth and imagination of a young producer with a lot of ideas attempting to make his talent and thoughts sync up. This is the burden of any artist: the challenge of aligning vision with execution. It is particularly hard when you’re young and still exploring your style, but when Milo hits (as on “Fire on Wax,” “The Greater Good”–which successfully rocks a familiar sample previously rocked on Skyzoo’s “Beautiful Decay”–and “Pay for Something” ft. Sterling Wadsworth), he hints at a very promising future.
“Fire on Wax
“The Greater Good”
“Pay for Something”
And so we come back to that little bit at the beginning about technology. Without Fruity Loops and a hard drive full of Janis Joplin loops, I’m not sure Milo’s budding, exponentially progressing production work would even have existed. There are always going to be YouTube atrocities, MySpace gangstas, and Pro Tools polluters. There has always been bad music in spades and there always will be. It’s nice to know, however, that people with inherent talent can express and explore it with the click of a mouse. The difference between fine, functional beats, quality beatmakers, and legendary producers is, of course, cosmic in scope, so I’m not saying Fruity Loops, piano lessons, and some Billy Paul records make you DJ Premier. But now the possibilities are limitless (this fact itself a double edged sword) and the onus is on young artists to explore the outer reaches of the production universe. I believe the children are the future.
You can delve deeper into the mystical mind at his tumblr, Fuck Midgets Get Money.
Download: Reunited by Milo and Suspence.