RJD2: clarifying the riddle of instrumental hip-hop

Instrumental hip-hop has been both misunderstood and underappreciated. Some think of it as either electronic music or "hip-hop background music". Nonetheless, it's great music. Dj Shadow may be the most famous artist within this genre. Endtroducing (1996), his most successful album, has been considered by many as an essential recording of the last decade. When RJD2 edited his opera prima The dead ringer (2002), a lot of critics hailed it as "the sequel to Dj Shadow's Endtroducing". RJD2 then seemed to take instrumental hip-hop where Dj Shadow dropped it. However, RJD2 had never been considered a mainstream artist until a track of his was played as the opening sequence for the successful TV show Mad Men. That's why The Colossus (2010) couldn't have been released more conveniently. His last record brings the old RJD2 along with a more modern sound, crafted with the help of superb collaborations from Kenna and Aaron Livingston, among others. Hopefully this album will give the proper respect instrumental hip-hop deserves. At least, RJD2 has made a quite remarkable album to do so.

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