Label and release date: Cake (2011)
Chuck Inglish’s first beat tape is unique simply for being a beat tape, but since its release instrumental-only hip-hop releases have seen an increase. The tape boasts twenty beats that have a similar feel to his production on The Cool Kid’s mixtape Tacklebox and on King Chip’s EP Gift Raps, meaning they’re not too intense and at times border along the lines of ambient or chillout.
WRKING is strongly cohesive. Nothing too unexpected pops up, which is one of its best points: in an industry filled to the brim with music that’s trying to incorporate every sound at once it’s nice to hear something that isn’t. Each song nicely blends into the next. For instance: the opening track Before We Leave is one of the best beats on the tape, and it blends nicely into I Was Seeing Stars, and although the latter is completely different to the song that precedes it it’s still a nice transition that continues throughout the tape.
The instrumentals for some of Chuck Inglish’s previous songs, such as Swimsuits and U.A.F, are not on the tape, but tracks like Curly Hair are a good alternative:
In a way, WRKING feels like one long instrumental, but the existence of some tracks slows down the project. A quarter of the tape sounds like filler. Had Chuck Inglish removed these songs then WRKING wouldn’t have became a victim of the skip button, but despite this shortcoming it’s still a success. Most of the tracks are nothing to shout about but the unique sound Chuck Inglish’s instrumentals bare make them a gem to listen to. Remarkably, the content of WRKING says everything about the title without any vocals (un-including distorted samples), and it’s a perfect listen for when you’re performing work of any kind.
It may not be entirely Grammy worthy, but if there was an award for beat tape of the year back in 2011 WRKING would have been a strong contender.
- Reasons to listen to: if you need a soundtrack to anything you’re doing. The cover art is neat as well.
- Where to get: Mixtape Monkey.
- Favourite lyric: “I struck a nerve.”