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Karriem Riggins @ The Hi Hat 2/23/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq.(@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
Karriem Riggins @ The Hi Hat 2/23/17. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq.(@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com

On February 24, 2017, Stones Throw Records released Karriem Riggins latest album, “Headnod Suite”. The night before, they celebrated the album’s release at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles.

It was a low-key event, but Stones Throw devotees, and lovers of that soul-infused, Detroit Hip-Hop that J Dilla immortalized, came out in droves to support the one producer out there who’s still got his finger on the pulse of that “classic” sound.

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It’s been a minute since Karriem released his own music, but that’s not saying that he hasn’t been hard at work. 2016 could very well have been his busiest year, executive producing Common’s “Black America Again” and collaborating with other high caliber artists including, but not limited to, Kanye West, Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding and The Roots. But with “Headnod Suite”, he’s back in the spotlight, giving the world a jewel of an album that’s filled with veritable buffet of primo beats that I’m sure will only add to his reputation as a go-to beat maker and will make you definitely nod your head hard with every funky bass-line and ingeniously chopped up rhythm.

Various other Stones Throw artists were in attendance (the lovely Sudan Archives even came by after her own performance in LA earlier in the evening to join the festivities) and some of them took to the stage to spin some music to keep the party vibes flowing throughout the evening. DJ Dummy, J Rocc and Peanut Butter Wolf all took turns manning the turntables. Flying in from Detroit, Slum Village (a group that Karriem worked intimately with since inception)  alum Elzhi even graced the stage to perform a couple jams.

But the evening belonged to Karriem, and by the end of the evening, he sat behind his drum kit and blessed the audience with a little of his drumming magic. Watching him smash those drums into music was a glorious sight to behold. It reminds you that producers …. most producers … good producers … are the ones that have that musical soul, and Karriem gave a little bit of his to us that night.

And if you don’t think I’m giving you the god’s honest truth about this man’s music, why don’t you just take Questlove’s word for it. He’s on my level.

When cool things happen in 2017, I cherish it like pancakes on a Saturday back in the day (growing up that was a luxury) @KarriemRiggins1 is bar none my favorite living beatmaker making joints today (he did Ye’s #30hours, Erykah’s #YourFuneral, Common’s #TheHustle). In my opinion @Jdilla’s best protege/student who has come into his own in the Detroit tradition. Before y’all start hemmin and hawin about who should I check and blah blah I know pretty much about all the dope cats. Believe me all 50-leven of my inboxes are full of links and beats. But if I gotta choose ONE cat whose music hits my soul like it autta should when I need a music pick me up?Then I reach for his debut #AloneTogether & now I’m rockin his NEW joint #HeadnodSuite. MAN I needed this #Detroit funk today. You. Just. Don’t. KNOW!!!!

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