Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer Steel Tipped Dove dropped his new album this week. Titled Nothing Touches the Ground Here, the 15-track project showcases the beatsmith's talent for crafting instrumental rap soundscapes that veer in a contemplative and celestial direction. In honor of the album's release, we got Steel Tipped Dove to run through a list of do's and don'ts to consider when creating an instrumental hip-hop listening experience.
Do use sampled dialogue to perk up songs!
"I'm a huge fan of it. I mean, I definitely overdo it sometimes -- I will find myself going back in on a track and letting it breathe more and removing some dialogue -- but when there's not a rapper being considered or I know I'm making the track specifically for an instrumental album, I will always throw in some kind of strange dialogue from a movie, show, podcast, or voicemail...
SYFFAL: Review: "Nothing touches the ground here"
Steel Tipped Dove's graceful, majestic, chromatic Nothing Touches The Ground Here is the itinerant, hurtling assortment of the unicorns' theme songs and they represent in many ways their vestiges in this world.
"Wasn't Really Fair" is the first chapter of Steel Tipped Dove's intergalactic coloring book and it throttles through time in an ukulele-synthesizer melange wrapped in an outer space capsule. Shockingly facile to ingest, but once digested, it forced me to absorb the Brobdingnagian smattering that remained. Voknorim, an untried quantity prior to me until now, is a production partner on four of NTTGH's sauciest, stretched out portions; the most notable being his/her contribution to the sumptuously sardonic "Car Commercial."
We’ve shown a lot of love to Brooklyn producer Steel Tipped Dove over the past few years thanks to his standout solo work and choice collaborations with cats like Bill Ding, Kool A.D., and many others. He also contributed to one of the best projects we put out here at Potholes. So with that, I’m proud to say we’re premiering Steel’s latest solo venture, Nothing Touches The Ground Here, which is one of the most majestic albums I’ve heard so far this year.
It’s like if M83 went back to more beat-focused music and left the nostalgic, ’80s-referencing pop tunes behind for a minute. It’s also like hurtling through space on the back of a comet while someone triggers samples and drum beats into the headphones clenched around your skull. It’s… beautiful, really...
Interview Magazine write up
Who: Steel Tipped Dove has had a hand in more tracks than you may realize—the producer has become the go-to go for the Greedhead crew and their affiliates, creating standout tracks with artists like Lakutis, Antwon, Heems, and more.
The Song: The producer worked with two of his frequent collaborators, SAFE and Kool A.D. (formerly of Das Racist), for this newest cut. "Who's in Charge" finds A.D.'s twisty, comical style at work over an understated and smooth beat that gives both the rapper and singer SAFE room to ruminate on the ways of the world.
THE QUIETUS premiers: Already The Guts Of Some Star That Died A Billion Years Ago
An outlier from a city considered the spiritual home of hip-hop, Steel Tipped Dove, a somewhat mysterious Brooklynite, has provided unusual and engaging beats for the likes of Antwon, Lakutis and Kool A.D., formerly of Das Racist. His latest beat tape, which we are proud to premiere today, reflects the producer's dexterity as well as his inability to be classified or categorised. It soars to a start with soulful, springtime vibes, in stark contrast with the malfunctioning 'Kaus', the trembling boom bap of 'Regulus' or the glitchy tech of 'Enif'. With tracks named for various constellations and other stellar phenomena, Already The Guts Of Some Star That Died A Billion Years Ago both channels and challenges the conventions of hip-hop, offering a potential argument for where it could go.
Interview with Audible Hype
As promised/threatened, we’re back with a new season of Audible Hype interviews. First up is the prolific NYC producer Steel Tipped Dove, who has probably released a dozen projects since we wrapped up our conversation here. This was an especially fun interview because this cat confounded my expectations at every turn. What follows is, in the immortal words of KRS-One, great edutainment. Enjoy.
AH: Did you come into your music career already Mad Serious, or was there a turning point that gave you the focus to do this full-time?
Steel Tipped Dove: …not serious at all My man wanted to rap, so I bought a Mac and started putting beats together and jacking commercial beats and chopping them or whatever...
Strettoblaster: Production Specs: Steel Tipped Dove
Di Steel Tipped Dove e del suo futuristico bap-step avevamo già parlato. Il giovane produttore trapiantato a Brooklyn è uno dei più interessanti esponenti di quella commistione fra boom bap ed elettronica che sta iniziando a cambiare gli scenari della musica underground della Grande Mela. Con produzioni di un certo peso per Big Baby Gandhi, Lakutis e Heems e Kool A.D. del giro Das Racist, il suono minimalista e duro di Steel Tipped Dove, rigorosamente forgiato al computer ma con tanta anima, si sta facendo finalmente notare. L’ultimo lavoro del produttore è una compilation di strumentali dal titolo A CABIN RECORD, scaricabile qui.
First commercial beat sold/placed: I’ve never had a beat sold commercially. I sell beats to underground rappers but I have yet to land placement on a commercial record backed by a label’s budget. Would love to though, soooooo…labels hit me up!
Pigeons & Planes : In The Lab With Steel Tipped Dove
It was 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and I was waiting outside of Steel Tipped Dove’s apartment/recording studio in Brooklyn, waiting to meet him for the first time. After hearing his production on Big Baby Gandhi’s most recent tape, I reached out to ask if I could see him work in the studio, but I had no idea who he was. His Twitter account offers no help. So there I was, and it started to sink in that this is pretty weird.
“What if he’s really old, like some 70-year-old man with a giant beard,” I said to Brendan, the editor for P&P who writes under the name Midas. Brendan laughed, “I hope he is.” I texted Steel Tipped Dove (I’d shorten this into an acronym, but it ends up being STD), and let him know I was outside. A few minutes later, the door opens...
working estate: chops: interview w/ steel tipped dove
The man has eclectic tastes and aims to rework the conventional sound of hip-hop. For our first Chops interview, we look into his thought process, inspirations and get advice. At the end of the interview, we premiere a clever new song.
What is your creative process from from idea to finished product?
I use a Macbook Pro and an iMac with Reason and Logic. I make all my beats in Reason. I use Logic to record the artist’s vocals and edit/mix their songs. Sometimes I use Logic to mix my beats, but usually I can get a good mix straight out of Reason. My mindset is always the same: “make a dope beat“. My time frame changes, sometimes I can make a beat I really like in 15 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour….the time frame is very random. I stay focused with marijuana wax – it keeps me very focused.
MTV HIVE Premiers "& a bunch of crazy motherfuckers part 2"
Brooklyn-based hip-hop producer Steel Tipped Dove released his & A Whole Bunch Of Crazy Motherfuckers 1 mixtape via the Modern Shark label last week — and now you can stream the second half of the project exclusively here at Hive. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the project pairs beats Steel Tipped Dove crafted on his MacBook Pro running Reason and Logic Pro with a torrent of guest verses from the most creative rap cats currently buzzing on the cusp of the hip-hop underground: The presumed-retired Big Baby Gandhi teams up with Chippy Nonstop for the melancholic anti-love ode “Tryna Get High,” lo-fi hip-hop architect Antwon blesses the bass attack of “Duke Nukem” with his powerhouse raps, and YC The Cynic and MC Elijah Black bring positive self-determination vibes on “The Mantra.” While you’re dipping into the stream below, read on for Steel Tipped Dove telling the stories behind some of & A Whole Bunch Of Crazy Motherfuckers 2‘s most prominent tracks — including a shocking revelation about a lost puppy.
How is part two of the mixtape different from the first installment?
Part two is only part two because the project became so large. Really, it was intended to be one mixtape but after hearing from artists and friends a lot of them suggested I split it up into two parts, so I went for it...
FACT MAGAZINE premiers : Hyperbolic Chamber Music.
Mishka and Rad Reef team-up for the second volume of Hyperbolic Chamber Music.
Produced by prolific New York talent Steel Tipped Dove, the synth-laced boom-bap is well-suited for the roll call of rappers that offer verses, including Eli Porter, Aaron Cohen, Haleek Maul, Deli Mane, Issue, Kechphrase, Left Leberra, Don Got Dope, Rod Fuego, New 9000, Open Mike Eagle, Pepperboy, Selfsays, Shady Blaze, Dizzy D, Joeybagadoughnutz, Supa, Yarrow Slaps, Squadda B, Go Ricky, Walt Live, Zachg, Greg Mishka, Showyousuck, Kevorkian, Western Tink, Yung Yadi, MondreM.A.N., Bill Ding, Cadalack Ron, Zoned Out, Justin Loans, Jay Casio, and Dark Sister.
Stereogum premier: Lakutis video "Jesus Piece" prod. by Steel Tipped Dove
Next week Lakutis drops his new album, Three Sea Shells, following the single “Body Scream.” Now he’s got a new video for the track “Jesus Piece,” directed by Kate Bryant. While it’s mostly just Lakutis rapping directly to the camera, progressively crazier shit happens to him. It starts out simple and striking, with just a trickle of blood running from his nose, but eventually he’s getting slimed, Nickelodeon-style, with gold paint and rapping under blacklights that make him look like a skeleton. None of it would work at all if it wasn’t for the fact that Lakutis is such an intense performer (he doesn’t react to any of it), and even without all special effects you can’t take your eyes off him.
The Fader Premiers "Neotropical Vacation" by SAFE, Lakutis, Steel Tipped Dove
Last time we hear from Oakland duo SAFE, they’d lost their album in a computer fire. Frontman Chris Edley returns with Greedhead label mate Lakutis on this mellow get-away song, with buzzy percussion from Brooklyn’s Steel Tipped Dove. Their rosy ode to oxy pills, plastic shovels and sandals showcases Edley’s nimble, thins soprano...
Pitchfork premiers Kool A.D. - Eroika prod. Steel Tipped Dove
Next Thursday, February 7, Victor Vazquez, aka Kool A.D., formerly of Das Racist will release a double-album collection of outtakes and collaborations, titled 19 and 63, respectively. (Like last year's 51, the albums are named after Bay Area bus lines.) It features production from Pictureplane, Young L, SKYWLKR, Keyboard Kid, Trackademicks, Steel Tipped Dove and more...
MISHKA: FUTURE RAP DOVE SOUNDS: A BLOGLIN INTERVIEW W/ STEEL TIPPED DOVE
I first heard one of Steel Tipped Dove’s beats on Lakutis’ I’m In The Forest EP. All the beats on that EP are next level, but the title track really stood out as something crazy. And then, a few months back, when I was checking out Big Baby Ghandi’s amazing No 1 2 Look Up 2 mixtape I heard a ton more of Steel Tipped Dove’s beats and got even more impressed. Steel Tipped Dove has a really unique style and his production is kind of hard to describe. But, I will say that it’s unlike anything else around and it’s super cool. I visited Steel Tipped Dove at his studio in Brooklyn where he showed me some rare, upcoming music he’s working on. We also talked about Def Jux, Viktor Vaughn, how he got his name, and more…