Get Based! Instrumental cloud rap with Clams Casino
June 28, 2011 4:05 PM   Subscribe

The name Clams Casino has been floating around for a while, whose production was likened to a castle floating in the clouds by the BasedGod himself, Lil B [prev]. But recently, 24 year old Mike Volpe has shot up from relative obscurity to being dubbed a "visionary beatmaker" in Rolling Stone. You can hear the start of the north Jersey bedroom producer's ethereal sound in his 2006 remix of Mobb Deep's "Get Twisted", which has carried forward into tracks for Squadda Bambino, Lil B, Havoc (of Mobb Deep), and Soulja Boy. Clams Casino has since released a free mixtape of his instrumental production (streaming) to glowing reviews.

A couple months back, he had some good interviews with the Village Voice blog and Space Age Hustle, and Clams made a general hip-hop mix for Fact Magazine (which will go offline in 2 weeks).

Clams Casino also has an EP out on Tri Angle (er, TRI▼ANGLE), the label by 20 Jazz Funk Greats [prev] blogger Robin Carolan, home to witch house or drag artists [prev, ish].

So what do you call this sound? Cloud Rap is one title (with a mixtape), though Clams Casino is generally considered part of Lil B's Based Music world.

Fun fact: Mike Volpe has not had Clams Casino, at least when he discussed it in some of his past interviews.
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Good post! I've been playing I'm God for about the last 9 months or so. That beat (and tons of the other Clams stuff) is just incredible.
posted by broadway bill at 4:25 PM on June 28, 2011

The beat for Got It Twisted was my ringtone for like 2 years. Most people thought it was just She Blinded Me with Science, so it was like two-for-one.
posted by penduluum at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Very nice, reminds somewhat of Kno's work with Cunninlynguists, solo, and for others. In other words: sweet.
posted by Panjandrum at 4:56 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

disappointed this had nothing to do with seafood
posted by Trurl at 5:06 PM on June 28, 2011

I got food poisoning from some bad clams casino once.
posted by briank at 6:12 PM on June 28, 2011

I was like "I went to high school with that guy!" and then I realized that there are 40,000 dudes named Mike Volpe from North Jersey.
posted by GilloD at 6:12 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Trurl: disappointed this had nothing to do with seafood

I was amused that he had never eaten Clams Casino, and the name just started as a joke, but it stuck.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:36 PM on June 28, 2011

It's a unique sound but I don't get the visionary appropriation... at least yet. It seems he's riding on a wave of internet hype at the moment more than anything. He's got a long way to go before I think he can be considered a 'visionary beatmaker' in the story of hip-hop. 'Motivation' is pretty sweet though.
posted by ageispolis at 11:35 AM on June 29, 2011

This is a pretty great post, even if it did lead me to getting into an argument in youtube comments. Dude's trying to argue that rap evolved purely from party rapping and that there were no influences like griots, etc. GRRR!
posted by klangklangston at 1:31 PM on June 29, 2011

ageipolis - I agree that some of the hype is riding past hype, but it seems that that Clams Casino's beatmaking is pushing a bit of hip-hop into a new direction (which happens to sound like the witch house / drag stuff, but with more pronounced beats). But listening to the Cloud Rap mixtape, some tracks sound like Nujabes beats (expescially G-Side ft. Chris Lee - Money in the Sky with beats by Basmo Beats).

klang - my sympathies. Some times it's best to step away, even if you have the sources to back up your points.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:42 PM on June 29, 2011

Well, I been listening to the instrumentals and they're good, he's got a nice sound but it's not amazing. First (at least the copy I have) is way too hot and the bass sounds terrible. I don't know about witchhouse so maybe that's the "sound" but I'm not a fan. Otherwise I would define "Based" as Dirty South/Crunk with bit crushing and reverb. Of course, it is now necessarily for every band that gets hyped to coin a new genre. Only time will tell if he's got staying power in the music scene.
posted by fuq at 9:22 AM on June 30, 2011

bahhh lil b
posted by thebspass at 5:00 AM on July 7, 2011

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