Khayree: Best Producer/Documentarian Alive

What up Funcrusher fam, this is Jordan from Suckapunk. Now before we get this whole thing started I’d like you to do yourself a little favor and watch the video below.

*Waits 4 minutes 37 seconds.* OK, we cool? Isn’t that trailer about a billion times more interesting and exciting than some bullshit like Notorious? I mean, I’m not even talking about the obvious murder mystery parallels, which will probably be handled poorly in each. Nah, what I’m talking about is insight, this ability to approach an interesting story in an interesting way, to really get into the heads of these guys who made some of the best music the world has ever known. To show how a group of guys got together to make great art.

But I’m looking at you and it pains me to see that you’re not following. You’re looking at me extra funny, like I just stumbled into your subway car drunk, falling over myself, and preaching the gospel of Soulja Boy. “Look, Jordan” you say, “I saw that trailer, and it didn’t look like anything more than a glorified vanity project. I mean, dude’s making a documentary about himself, fer chrissakes. How do we expect to see anything approaching the truth of what actually happened, when this is clearly the most self-serving thing I’ve ever seen advertised?” I’m sorry for almost puking in response to that, but you know how the subway car’s been lurching around. Anyway, here’s the thing. You come to this site, so I’m just gonna assume you listen to rap music. And so, if you listen to rap music with any regularity, you’d better be used to this kind of shit. I mean if you honestly can’t tolerate ridiculous egocentric and self-serving subjectivity and would prefer unbiased reporting of events, what the fuck are you doing listening to that rap shit? This music’s never been about any accountant-ass Maysles bros style notions of truth fuckery, it’s on some straight up Herzogian ecstasy! Obvious ass agendas are where it’s AT.

All this wouldn’t mean shit though, if Khayree were just some random motherfucker who read a manual and learned how to program a drum machine. But dude was so much more than that. As the house producer for Young Black Brotha records, not only did he help put Vallejo on the map, but he created one of the greatest signature sounds ever heard. Simply put, Khayree took that good old-fashioned Too $hort style minimalist trunk-rattling base-bumping 808 thump that everybody in the Bay was already jocking, and he built around it into something greater. Added the kind of musicality Dre was using down in Southern Cal, but made it even funkier. Added all kinds of instruments that he played himself, but didn’t let all that instrumentation distract from his rappers.

I’m not even halfway through Khayree’s discography, and already I’ve heard two masterpieces: Mac Mall’s Illegal Business? and Ray Luv’s Who Can Be Trusted EP. These aren’t the kind of masterpieces recognized by the average critic who’s got RZA’s dick permanently stuck in their mouth, but by a mostly local audience, fortunate enough to let Khayree’s impeccable funk into their ears. Khayree also had this nice ability to pick these guys with their own unique personalities to put on his label. Mac Mall is the charming young everyman, Mac Dre was the kind of goofy, always high eccentric, The Mac was like this smoothed out Big Daddy Kane style pimp-loverman, and Ray Luv is the Ice Cube or Chuck D-like politically conscious one. Except that all these guys are a bit more complicated than that and you’ll get them all mixing these styles up, so Mac Mall will be talking some politically aware shit and naming his album Illegal Business?, while Ray Luv will have some absurd pimp talk between his lines expressing ghetto anger. This allows the guys to all seem a lot more human and along with Khayree’s production (which has different style on every album but retains the same feel) makes the Young Black Brotha collection all have a similar feel. Even the tightest compilations from Young Black Brotha have a laid back California vibe of a bunch of dudes just chilling and talking shit, even though a lot of the music sounds kind of scary and ominous. But there’s obviously something to that fearful part of the music, as by the end of the 1990s, two of these guys had been murdered.

And Khayree, the mastermind, is the survivor. And for better or worse, the survivors tell the story. Self-serving and ridiculous as it is for him to make a documentary about himself, I wouldn’t entrust this story to anyone else. Crappy production values and all, there’s no rap movie I’d rather see.

Download: Ray Luv - Who Can Be Trusted?
Posted on 11:14 PM by Jordan and filed under , | 2 Comments »


quan said... @ October 22, 2008 at 11:56 AM

I like how you manage to drop obscure scholarly references to like Herzog into this kinda stupid doo doo dumb style.

Great post. I'm glad you schooled me on Ray Luv because before this, I confused him for that one dude that sang on a Shaggy song way back when (Ray-something?).

Jordan said... @ October 22, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Thanks. Yeah, pretentious references should only be thrown around if they're in a sentence with the word fuckery.

Being horrible at geography, for a second I thought that you were from a part of CA kinda close to these guys and would therefore know way more about them than me. Glad to see this post could still edumacate. I would look up whoever you're talking about, but I made a vow to never actively follow Shaggy's career, similar to my Canadian indie rock boycott.