your best friend jippy, “BEAT TAPE 34” (2020) album cover
Producers don’t get enough credit. The argument persists (from what is mostly one-dimensionally minded dads who think music ends at Steely Dan) that artists who don’t play their instruments aren’t musicians at all. This regularly disenfranchises capable musicians who work behind the scenes in the studio, and this goes the same for beat-makers who forge their musical careers around the computer as a multi-faceted instrument, which is perfectly viable in that it does what any other instrument could do. A good producer is similar to a good editor, collaborating with and intimately engaging with a piece of writing in a way that it is as if it was their own.
Though much of my love for hip-hop begins with beat tapes my best friend made in high school, it’s not exhausted today, many years later. Were it not for him, I probably wouldn’t have a love for MF Doom, A Tribe Called Quest, Danny Brown, or beat producers like your best friend jippy. Churning out tape after tape and dozens of tracks on each for only a few years now, Australian producer your best friend jippy’s newest entry, “BEAT TAPE 34,” is possibly jippy’s wildest, smoothest, and most charming beat collection yet.
Spanning over an hour of jazz-centric hip-hop beats (with vocal samples abounding), “BEAT TAPE 34” experiments the most with brevity. This might be an hour of beats, but it’s so briskly paced that the hour soars by unnoticed. your best friend jippy packs lush vocal tracks with uniquely varied percussion tracks that makes every one of the 34 tracks individual in their own right. Sprinkled with space rock, psychedelia, R&B, and jazz litter, it’s hard not to want to pick apart every little sample your best friend jippy has purposefully placed throughout. There’s so much here to love that plays around with form and texture, which goes to show how definitive your best friend jippy is for beat-makers and lo-fi hip-hop in general. He’s willing to experiment with new things and evolve, which I can’t say most lo-fi hip-hop producers do all the time.
There are dozens of lo-fi hiphop artists I adore—so many that it’s somewhat hard to track— which might be more of a testament to how impressive these producers are than how beloved a genre lo-fi has become. However, it’s producers like your best friend jippy who remain as my go-to artist for eclectic beats. His work isn’t just fulfilling the one category of being chill; rather, your best friend jippy encompasses so many moods and tones across just one beat tape that I can’t help but spin one of his hour-long tapes versus a series of singles and EPs from other lo-fi artists. your best friend jippy has everything an impressive hip-hop producer should have, and in the sea of same-y lo-fi artists, records like “BEAT TAPE 34” will hopefully be remembered as nothing but quintessential to the genre.