Armed with a dusty SP-1200 and equally weathered records, Gensu Dean made a splash in the indie rap scene with his debut LP Lo-Fi Fingahz on Mello Music Group. The record was an uncompromising modern display of tradition—hardcore MC’s over hardcore beats, plain and simple. The project was a proud beacon for the old guard, a proclamation that hip-hop can grow but the roots will always be the foundation. Now Gensu and MMG are dropping the instrumentals.
Devoid of the MC’s that originally blessed the project, the instrumental version of Lo-Fi Fingahz tells the same story with a different strategy. Classic boom-bap is still at the forefront, but without bars over the beats the listener is left to dive further into the sonic structure of the tracks. The LP takes on more of a contemplative tone and the intricacies in The Grand Imperial’s production can stand out without distraction. You can notice just how hypnotic a quarter-bar guitar loop can be on “Block Prenup” or zone out to the eerie piano on “There You Have It.” At times a chop may bring to mind Premo or Marley Marl or a loop may be a reminder of the legacy of Extra P, Gensu Dean makes it crystal clear as to what class of hip-hop he belongs in.
Gensu Dean is as sharp as his namesake.