‘Back to the Lab: Hip Hop Home Studios’ by Raph Rashid

Twelve years after he dropped the seminal Behind The Beat comes the follow up from Raph RashidBack To The Lab: Hip Hop Home Studios. In the early ’00s social media was just starting, youtube wasn’t yet a thing, and features in Scratch Mag and Wax Poetics were the only real ways for most of us to gain insight in to the production homes of our favourite producers. Dilla hadn’t yet passed and was still widely underground, and while liner notes often cited the gear used in the making of the tracks, photos of studios were mostly absent, which only fueled the speculation of the setup and of how producers might work instead of satisfying any curiosity.

I love Behind The Beat. And given the amount of homes I regularly find it in – propped up in a record room, bedroom studio or sitting beside Dust & Grooves on the family bookshelf – I know that I’m not the only one who’s been keenly waiting over a decade for this to drop. Rashid’s photo book threw new light on just under thirty beatsmiths including Cut Chemist, Chief Xcel, Farma G, Dilla, DJ Shadow and the recluse king of the beats Madlib.

And while studio pics are something to be flouted nowadays, any thoughts that it might just be watered down shots of guys in front of laptops are quickly thrown out the door with the previews below. The new lineup is equally as great as the first one, and Rashid’s access comes via his reputation and dedication to shooting the best. Flying Lotus, Just Blaze, El-P, Oh No, Kenny Dope, Waajeed, Oddisee and DJ Format among them, it’s set to be another hardcover masterpiece.

Shipping out October 13th post- launch party at Rap Cats in LA where Raph will be signing books and prints. Get down if you can, and if you can’t get on the pre-order as this is first edition material.