It’s probably not exactly a secret to those who know me that I can be very opinionated when it comes to music. There are certain genres that simply rub mew the wrong way, and on balance, hip-hop (or rap, or all things similar) is often one of those. Don’t get me wrong – I certainly don’t hate it all. I do have some rap albums and mixtapes, although they generally fall into the following categories: progressive lyrics, nerd/geekcore, or thoroughly electro-influenced oldschool rap from the mid-eighties. Nowadays, though, the genre to me feels musically bereft, and usually devoid of the interesting musical hooks that can get you into it. Monotone rapping on top of a crap beat that sounds like a keyboard preset, thoroughly vapid “gangsta” lyrics about guns and money and prostitutes… bleh! In fact, one day I sat down and thought, after listening to one particularly odious example, “this stuff is barely music. It takes no effort at all. I could probably sit down in an hour and pull together a hip-hop-style track I’d rather listen to than this dreck.” A few minutes later, I decided to take myself up on the challenge, and fired up my DAW. About an hour later (most of which was spent tweaking a beat and some sounds in microtonic, and auditioning some interesting-sounding royalty-free samples that came bundled with Logic), I had the following track, which I would much rather listen to over the majority of major-label hip-hop being released today.