Review: AraabMUZIK – “For Professional Use Only”

March 4, 2013 No comments yet

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When AraabMUZIK’s Electronic Dream was released two years ago, it displayed an amount of range that took many by surprise. Known for producing and making a name off of sporadic Dipset records, Abraham Ornello crafted his skills on the MPC and drums with break-neck precision. The Rhode Island native wasted no time in breaking out on his own and into the EDM club scene, where he would flip many of those wicked trance records into head-nodding adventures. The success of Electronic Dream eventually led him appearing on the festival circuit and various Adidas ads that have been viewed once or twice by the common sports fan. It also gave him a lot more work in hip-hop, some of it featured heavily on his latest mixtape, For Professional Use Only.

Serving as a snapshot of how his career is going now, the tape is a collection of previous and new instrumentals; some touched up and a little heavier than before. It is no secret that AraabMUZIK wants to expand his sound even further and the much of the first half is a clear description of that. The opening “This Is For The Ones Who Care” flips into the super-dub party rave that oozes of Skrillex 20 seconds in. Hearing it at first will bring to mind any of his stage shows; he goes ballistic on the pads as synths screech and howl with the crowd moshing to the beat. The tribal drums in the “The Prince Is Coming” are hypnotic, soaking into a rhythmic guitar loop that sounds like a war cry.

There isn’t much on the mixtape that would remind you of its predecessor, but the ones that do feel familiar shine. “Turn Tha Tide” is transformed from a SYLVER groove to a bass rattler in the whip and “Heaven” does its best in trying to stand at the level of Dream’s most illustrious outings. While nothing on this project can really compare to “Streetz Tonight” or “Lost In A Maze”, a few of these songs are able to hold their own. “Hammer Dance” takes the guitar intro of Korn’s “Falling Away From Me” and becomes even trippier wrapped around the weird keys that he likes to do so much. It becomes more impactful than the original instrumental, which was used for Slaughterhouse and was one of the reasons why the song worked so well.

A bunch of the creativity falls in the pits around the second half, which is mainly comprised of beats he did for Styles P, Chase N.Cashe, and A$AP Rocky. Aside from the flashes of brilliance reminiscent of Roc-era Just Blaze on “Beauty”, paint-by-number throwaways like “AraabStyles”, “G Riding”, and “D.R.U.G.S.” will drag with a lot of room to fill. The anticipated collaboration for Lex Luger is put on hold with “Getting 2 The Point”, a carbon-copy of the latter’s work sprinkled with 2 Chainz adlibs. It kills the consistency of the tape overall pasting random beats in the middle with not too much direction. Not to mention that having an instrumental tape at well over an hour is never a good idea in obtaining attention and very taxing.

Notwithstanding, AraabMUZIK is a very talented producer with a solid ear for sounds and remarkable ambition. As what For Professional Use Only comes as an appetizer, it does its job well in keeping his name out there and keeping fans on their toes for something major in the near future. When that time comes, he’ll hopefully have made his mark sonically on what he truly wants to do.

Rating: 7.0