Top 25 Albums of 2011: #5 Instrumental Mixtape by Clams Casino
Clams Casino’s beats absolutely blow me away. But what’s even more mind boggling is the fact that his music career basically happened by accident.
Just last year, Mike Volpe was an early-twenties New Jersey student working towards a physical therapist license. In his spare time he made beats on his computer by logging onto Limewire, typing a random letter into the search query, and downloading whatever songs came up. He then cut up and warped whatever sounded good to him and turned them into his own abstract beats.
Volpe essentially did this for his own entertainment, but then his friends started to convince him that his beats were actually good. Like, really good. Eventually he sent his beat (which might be my favorite hip hop beat of all time) “I’m God” to Lil B, who liked it enough to rap over it, and thus Clams Casino’s production career had begun in earnest.
In April, Clams dropped this mixtape of his instrumentals, stripped of the presence of the rappers like Lil B, Soulja Boy, and Squadda B. Finally, these beats got to breath on their own, and the world got to see the brilliance of Clams’ production.
Clams Casino mixes mysterious wordless vocal snippets, rich bass lines, lo-fi hiss, and classic thumping drum beats to make his highly original brand of sound. The result is these beautifully ethereal and epic beats that are different from anything else you are hearing in hip hop right now.
Well, at least anything you’ve been hearing. Clams is rising so fast and his beats are so breathtaking that we’ve already starting to see imitators. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, though. The more producers make beats that don’t even need rappers on them in order to sound brilliant, the healthier hip hop will be as a whole.
Clams Casino - “Motivation”
Clams Casino - “All I Need”
Clams Casino - “Real Shit From a Real Nigga”