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Track By Track Analysis: Raydar Ellis Breaks Down 'BANG'

There’s something to be said about craftsmen/women. It’s sort of an old world ideal that has been lost in our hyper consumerist era. This isn’t to say that high-level artisans don’t exist at all — a quick look down our homepage would suggest that there’s plenty of artists out there who are making quality work. Chief among these high-level craftspeople is Raydar Ellis whose latest album, ¡Bang!, showcases the same premier artistry that he demonstrated in Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1.

In a 8-track project that clocks in a minute shy of the half-hour mark, Raydar Ellis’ latest release, ¡Bang!, is full to the brim of his highly-specialized skills. He’s rapping on every track. With the exception of the album’s penultimate song, “Sunday Morning,” he produced every track. On top of his emcee and production duties, Raydar Ellis also assumed mixing for the album. From top to bottom, audiences are hearing and experiencing Raydar’s artistic choices each and every turn.

Born out of his lesson plans from the classes he teaches at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, ¡Bang! is built upon the examples Raydar shows his students.

“When I put out my last record, I was freshly graduated from Berklee,” states the emcee/producer/educator. “A couple of years later I come back and I start teaching and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I can do that role and how I can be of service to my students. That wasn’t really easy because I didn’t have a bunch of hip-hop teachers that walked through those steps before to show me the way. A lot of this was spending a lot of time focusing on the academic side of things. It kind of happened out of necessity. In trying to focus on the students, I needed stuff to show them and examples. I started making examples and those examples ended up being the songs for this record. All of these songs are something that I’ve used to show my students how to do something for the week or for the month.”

Raydar Ellis chopped it up with us recently via a phone interview and gave us a very in-depth look into ¡Bang! in this special edition of Track-By-Track Analysis.

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