In a democracy the most votes should win. But sometimes, on the internet, if you’re too good they could kick you out anyway. Despite being the people’s choice via comments on Discord, Spell was disqualified by battle host Kenny Beats for being too good.
The American record producer/song writer described one of the initial winning beats as “sloppy in a good way”, another judge said he would like to see Dom Kennedy on it. But because Kenny had to be fair to other entrants, he deemed Spell “double blocked” instead.
Kenny Beats has produced songs with Vince Staples, Rico Nasty and Freddie Gibbs among other big names. In March 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic, he started a Twitch stream where he hosts battles. It is a platform garnering thousands of daily viewers and providing a space for beat makers like Spell, still in Covid-19 Level 4, an outlet to find his community.
Whether we get to see Spell re-enter the forum as a contestant, or simply live in the Discord comments, ruled to accept his dubs there, Kenny Beats did leave us with the most important question of all:
But how are you British and you make music that sounds like 1998 in Compton? (Spell is from New Zealand)
SPELL: Pretty much, the hood that I grew up in was on the west side of town, HUNTLY WEST, and so all that we listened to and were exposed to was West Coast G Funk. Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Bone Thugs and Harmony were mega big. The bits and pieces that I was exposed to all came from kids older than us, going to mate’s houses and hearing what their older bros and sisters were listening to.
In 96′ I had three albums, Warren G’s Take a Look Over Your Shoulder (Warren G’s second album) and also Coolio, Gangsta’s Paradise. All the production on those two albums, that’s the sound that kind of stuck with me into my adulthood.
The third album that I had was Fugees (The Score) so there were exceptions.
That’s how I heard the east coast sound, that album. Chuck it all together and ye, you get DJ Spell, pretty much. I was also exposed to a lot of funk music from the 70s, all the shit that Dre and them were sampling, I was familiar with already, thank my dad for that. And then all the dancing shit in my teenage years, breaking and poppin, ye that’s another story lol.
S: Why do Kiwis make such good west coast music?
S: It’s because we all grew up listening to that shit. Tupac was like, fucking Jesus Christ at my school… But it’s more just brown kids that was in the hood in the 90s, we were exposed to west coast music lol
S: Shout outs to Kenny Beats.
S: Ye nah shout out to Kenny fuckin beats.