Mixtape Review: SMKA and The Notes Music Group Present The Dub Below featuring Outkast

SMKA and The Notes Music Group
The Dub Below featuring Outkast

Music and branding coalition SMKA and the Notes Music Group present a dubstep tribute to Atlantanatives and southern rap icons Big Boi and Andre 3000, more commonly known as Outkast. The Dub Below is where classic rhymes and reverberant drum patterns meet. This project is an audio treat for new and old school listeners as it features some the legendary group’s most memorable lyrics with an interesting mix of syncopated rhythms – yet another example of electronic music’s continued influence in the hip-hop genre. Atlanta Music Guide was able to sit down with the project’s producer Justin Padron for some insight on how it developed.

As an Atlantanative himself, Padron grew up loving anything Outkast was even remotely involved with. He admits being a little slow to catch on to dubstep music but what attracted him to the genre was the tempo. “With the 140 bpm range a lot of it just sounded like the dirtiest southern rap beat I’d ever heard. So as a producer and DJ it was natural for me to want to hear rap lyrics over the gritty wobble baselines and synths.”

The idea to put the two together struck him one night sitting in front of his computer after a night out on the town.  It started as more of an experiment than a project but once he’d laid a few tracks it all seemed to work. “That first night, I stayed up well into the morning relying more on feeling than actually thinking about it and it was halfway done.”

Having already worked with famed producers such as Rich Harrison, Drumma Boy and Bryan Michael Cox, this was not something done in order to get himself noticed. “The main motivation for the project was to take dubstep, a genre with fairly narrow appeal amongst many friends of mine, and introduce it to people who might otherwise dismiss it.  I also wanted to introduce a new generation of listeners (which I’ve found many dubstep fans are generally younger) to the songs I loved growing up – all while putting the music in a new context, something that I believe any good remix should do.”

Padron adds:

“Some in the DJ community may look down on me for putting an a capella over a track where there is already singing, as is the case with track one [“Black ice x Lights”].  My response would be that I definitely didn’t want to limit myself creatively and really wanted to get out of the box without adhering to the traditional rules of a mashup. Having ‘Skew It on the Bar-B’ as the last track – with ‘…got dammit they dun changed the rules…’ – was in some way a message to listeners and creative-types alike.  Outkast certainly never followed the rules and dubstep as a genre is prone to going outside the box.  With that said, I think singing and rapping at the same time at specific points in the project really adds to the overall feel, plus most of us already know all the lyrics anyway. Ultimately, I just love music of all genres and wanted to share that with as many people as possible.”

More information here: http://thesmkaexperience.com/2011/08/mixtape-the-dub-below-presented-by-the-notes-music-group-smka/


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