David Garrick
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Houston’s HAKEEM Goes Deep On Hakeem 6

Houston’s HAKEEM Goes Deep On Hakeem 6
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Hakeem, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Mark Pizano

 

It’s becoming more and more frequent to see artists drop multiple releases within the same calendar year, in fact, it’s becoming the norm.  Earlier this year Houston R&B electronic duo HAKEEM dropped Hakeem V, and the album sparked interest in two guys who’ve been performing under the radar for a good while.  However, when you’re as productive as these two are, another release shouldn’t be too shocking, which leads us to the duo’s latest, Hakeem 6.  While the album saw a digital release in September, they’re releasing a super limited run of cassettes with download cards today, and I think it’s easy to say they’re worth getting your hands on.

 

Released through the label Super Lovely Gorgeous, Hakeem 6 takes you to all of the spaces that the duo didn’t explore on previous releases.  Opening with the chopped and screwed sounds of “Intro” before a segue into the sampled and groove heavy R&B of “1on1;” the duo quickly proves they’re onto something.  The way they mix in beats and varying samples harkens back to the early nineties sounds of R&B, while the sequencing of the samples has that early hip hop vibe all over.  Going deeper into dance hop on the following track “Trick Tape,” HAKEEM takes you further into their rabbit hole, however it’s teh doo wop sampled “JustFriends” that sticks in your head.  Mixing it up with varying chopped samples to create a beat, there are times where it sounds like your favorite mix tapes turned into one grandiose jam.  

 

A couple of tracks later they keep things funky on “Let’s Get Together,” before they drop the short lived banger “Don’t Matter.”  While the song is just a couple hairs over the one minute mark, the skill set of how the track is structured is pretty magical and definitely a nice interlude.  They employ the same technique on the following track, “This, That, & the 3rd,” where they almost channel the vibes of Digable Planets and The Fugees.  They keep these vibes strong on the following songs before closing out with the most diverse song of the album, “Don’tWant2Stay/OffMyMind.”  Complete with multiple sounds and spacey synths, chopped and recut or re-pitched vocal samples, HAKEEM reinvents the slow jam while dropping R&B and dance elements on and off of the song giving it a whole new feel.  

 

All in, Hakeem 6 is just another deep and crazed album full of tracks that sound like no one else while reminding you of everything else.  The limited edition cassettes are available today at Deep End Records or through the group’s bandcamp, and come with download codes inside.  HAKEEM will perform at Khon’s on January 21st on the 1-800 Stop Snitchin show alongside android genius, REZ, HOODETHERNET and more.