Hailing out of Amityville, Long Island, Brad Perlow, also known as BP, is one of the best up and coming producers I have come across in a long time. His style is distinct; dark, gritty yet powerful. He possesses a unique ability to transform the essence of the streets onto wax, yet make it seem so smooth and soulful. Reminiscent of a producer named Alchemist, BP is able to combine an intense hard core sound with layers of soulfulness, as his tracks usually include magnificent vocal samples that are done without sounding repetitive and generic like many in today’s industry. BP’s debut album “The Usual Suspects” is a compilation album that features a variety of local Long Island and NYC native emcees such as Cixx The Future, C-Knuckles, Izzy Workin & Bonehead. And while most of these emcees range anywhere from solid to good, it’s the production side of “The Usual Suspects” that make’s the album a success.
The finest example of BP’s wondrous production comes from the Alicia Key’s sampled “Fallen” featuring Izzy Workin. BP manages to do a splendid job of flipping the classic Alicia Key’s track into a soulful melody in which Izzy Workin vibes off of perfectly. Izzy’s tale of hustling and relationships is done quite well, as he manages to capture the emotion of his struggles. “I had a sometimes friendship with my sometimes dad. He cheated on mom dukes; just speaking on it makes me mad. But were in 2003, where money means a lot to you and me. Without money we fight and argue all day, frustrated I say things I don’t mean to say. I got a lot of pressure on my back…”.
Another similar effort from BP & Izzy Workin come from the struggle filled tales of “Back In The Day”, where Izzy reminisces about the not so pleasant days way back when. Izzy definitely presents the more insightful & heartfelt tales of life’s struggles on the album, which give “The Usual Suspects” a nice change of pace from the usual street tales. However, while the album is a street influenced project, these attempts are pulled off nicely without sounding forced and cliché. Cixx The Future plays the role of the main emcee on the album, who usually delivers the street influenced tracks. Songs such as “Cixx I Am”, “#1 Draft Pick” and “Street Life” are all standout tracks that combine great production as well as good song making ability from Cixxx. The duo of BP & Cixxx definitely have nice chemistry together and this is never more evident than on these tracks. Another Cixxx gem, which is one of the more unique efforts, is the metaphoric coke tales of “Snow White” which is complete with a perfectly placed vocal sample.
For an independently released album, “The Usual Suspects” is surprisingly very complete, as the album only suffers from a couple sub par efforts. C-Knuckles “Point Guard” is your all too typical and overused track that once again compares the role of a point guard on a team to a hustler on the block. While not a bad track, the concept has been done before, thus making it a little stale. Other attempts that fail to measure up to some of the better tracks on the album are “Bang Out” by C-Knuckles & Bonehead and “Goin’ For The Face” by Cixxx The Future & Jewel The Diamond. But other than a few missteps “The Usual Suspects” is an album that is put together very well. BP managed to produce an album with a distinct vibe that worked from beginning to end.
With “The Usual Suspects” BP has proved to the world that he is a great producer. It’s hard to duplicate the raw talent that BP possesses, as he has only been producing for 3 years, but you wouldn’t be able to tell after listening to his performance on “The Usual Suspects”. Nevertheless, BP is a producer that is ready to make big moves right now, not just in the future. You might as well get familiar with him now because who knows, with some luck you may be hearing a lot more from the man.