DJ Drez is, quite simply, one of the nicest DJs on the West Coast right now and a personal favorite of mine. He’s been down with Project Blowed and Abstract Tribe Unique for the longest, so you know that he’s on that jazzy organic vibe. He’s aso created dozens of unique mixtapes spanning every musical genre imaginable, including straight-up hip hop, reggae, middle eastern jahta vibes, you name it. If it’s defined as music, chances are he’s run it through two Technics and a mixer.
The four-volume Rare Soul series is Drez‘ testament to the loop diggas; non-stop, fresh-as-hell mixtapes chock-full of samples and breaks, some instantly recognizable and some extremely obscure. You know, vibes ‘n stuff. These joints are perfect for finding a little beat-making inspiration yourself or simply cooling out on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Don’t misunderstand; this isn’t like every other half-assed mix of recycled Dusty Fingers samples floating around. Drez’ crates are mad deep and he comes with the hard-to-find breakbeats on the reggy-reg. Despite the presence of the word soul in the title, Dr. EZ Smooth never focuses on that one genre, instead choosing to bounce back and forth between dub reggae, 70’s soul, afrobeat, and jazz. In short, don’t sleep because these mixes are incredible.
Unfortunately, the first four volumes of Rare Soul are currently out of print, but there are plenty of other Drez mixtapes still available over at Access Hip Hop. At ten dollars a pop, they’re worth thier weight in gold. I’ve peeped around nine or so of his other tapes and so far none of them have disappointed.
Here are the first three rare soul mixes; no track listings though.
Rare Soul, Volume 1
Rare Soul, Volume 2
Rare Soul, Volume 3
– Echo Leader