So, there’s this hip hop producer in Los Angeles that goes by Bei Ru. He’s doing some magical things.
Similar to many producers nowadays, Bei Ru mixes together chunks of music that would appear to be impossible to hear on the same album. The difference? This guy has one refined sense of taste. His forte lies in mixing contemporary hip hop sensibilities with the obscure soul and funk of the 1970s that he grew up listening to.
Try to imagine Lil Wayne laying down raps on top of laid-back psychedelic funk, and you’re halfway to understanding the splendor of what Bei Ru is doing in Los Angeles.
Last November, Bei Ru put out his album Little Armenia, aka L.A. It is an album that captures, using samples of Armenian music, the sound of a diaspora that settled in Los Angeles. To make this album, Bei Ru searched record stores in Los Angeles, Lebanon, and Armenia for gems from the late ’60s and ’70s. To Bei Ru, the album is an encapsulation of the state of mind created by growing up in L.A. among friends in his family’s own Little Armenia.
The album is the perfect cocktail for the cultural persecution that Armenians around the world have suffered. The work by Bei Ru is particularly relevant because it stands out as a cross-ethnic testament to the greatness of music and an homage to the collective past of Armenians. I’d go so far as to saying that it pulls back the heavy shroud that the Armenian genocide has laid down upon the face of Armenian American culture.
If you’re a fan of the seamless meshes that Blockhead, DJ Shadow, and the Avalanches have created in the recent past, Little Armenia is an album that you simply need to get into your brain.
To hear some of Bei Ru’s productions, visit his YouTube channel Musaler Music. You’ll be glad you did.
Hugs and kisses,