Published on April 9th, 2012 | by 3G0
Band of the Week: Clams Casino
I briefly mentioned Clams Casino in my last list(link) naming his production as one of the reasons that Lil B’s based music doesn’t entirely fail at an artistic level. There is no one in the hip hop game at this point and time who makes beats quite like Clams Casino. This fact is not without good reason as Clams Casino’s beats are slow, largely atmospheric works that contain extensive slowed and slurred vocal samples (which work with his beats in a way comparable to the vocal samples Burial uses in his music [compare Clams Casino's I'm God to Burial's Archangel to see the similarities]). This results in beats that have multiple sounds occurring at once, stretching one’s ear before the MC even begins rapping over them. This may be why Clams Casino’s biggest clients are Hip Hop artists such as Lil B, Soulja Boy, and Main Attrakions (note that while this this last exampled is chopped an screwed, my point is still fairly clear), “based” and cloud rap artists that are more concerned with having and aesthetically pleasing sound than having their lyrics heard.
That is one explanation for the lack of mainstream, lyrically focused artists from making use of Clams Casino beats. Another explanation is that Clams Casino exactly making terrific hip hop beats; he was simply making terrific instrumental hip hop tracks. I think the latter reason is more applicable here. His release of a mixtape featuring instrumentals of many of his best hip hop “beats” supports this argument, and his release of an instrumental EP via Tri-Angle Records supports it further. In fact, there was a short period of time where I began to think that Clams Casino was done producing beats for hip hop artist and was going to solely produce instrumental hip hop tracks for the remainder of his career.
I was wrong. He has since worked with Mac Miller (producing a track on his number 1 album Blue Side Park), A$AP Rocky (producing several tracks on his critically acclaimed mixtape LIVELOVEA$AP), and The Weeknd (producing a track on his third critically acclaimed mixtape Echoes of Silence). There are distinct differences between the beats that he produced for these artist and the beats he produced for those mentioned previously, the most important difference being that THESE are hip hop beats, beats that compliment the MC’s rapping rather than completely overshadowing them.
In conclusion, I’m excited to see who Clams Casino collaborates with next. I would love to hear his production appear on a big name Hip Hop MC’s next albums. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but in the meantime, download his instrumental mixtape. It’s free! Also, check out more current info on Clams Casino here.