Damu the Fudgemunk
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Damu the Fudgemunk

Damu the Fudgemunk (born Earl Davis on June 8, 1984, in Washington, DC) is an American hip hop music artist and producer from Washington, DC. In addition to his career as a solo artist, music producer, and DJ, he is a member of the groups Y Society and Panacea. Damu built himself a respectable and loyal fan base through his unique YouTube videos and live street performances around Washington, DC, and New York City,[1] which require him to use a portable electricity generator to power his sampler and speakers. Damu's production has received praise from veteran producers like Marley Marl, who said of his beats, "Very refreshing to hear a young cat with that much soul. Exactly what's been missing from the game ... soul."[2]

Career

Early Life

Damu credits his parents with exposing him to music at a young age and helping him develop an interest in it. "I've always been around musicians," he said in 2014. "My mother was a musician, my father was a musician. They weren't into hip hop, but they gave me an ear for sounds."[3]

Damu started purchasing vinyl records when he was 14 and bought his first turntables when he was 15 or 16. By the time he was 17, he had saved enough money to purchase Boss SP-303 sampler. When he was 19 he bought an MPC, which he continues to use much of his production.[3]

2007-2008

Damu released his official debut album as a member of Y Society, Travel at Your Own Pace, on October 10, 2007, to positive reviews.[4] The album is reminiscent of true-school hip-hop with its liberal use of jazz and soul samples and scratching throughout. In 2008, Damu released two free albums primarily composed of instrumental music, titled Spare Time and Overtime.

2016-Present

In 2016 Damu released the Vignettes album on Redef Records. In the press release he encouraged people to treat the album the same way they would treat a film. "I recommend to anyone playing the album, it's best consumed in it's entirety with undivided attention," he said. "The experience of Vignettes is similar to committing your attention span to a two hour movie. I approached it's composition like a director."[5]

Damu further explained why he felt a special connection to the songs on Vignettes. "I feel a unique bond with the music on Vignettes specifically because of the experiences I collected prior to and while assembling the album," he said. "Initially, I just set out to make a new record, but life took precedence over the creative process, my artistic intentions and my preconceived outcome of what my album should accomplish."[5]

During the making of Vignettes, Damu went through significant personal and professional upheaval. In addition to unspecified family difficulties, he almost lost his entire back catalog of music dude to technical issues. "Both of my computers crashed," he said. "A lot of my life's work, I was pretty much preparing to say goodbye to it. A lot of my hard drives were failing. Most of it was pretty much unsalvageable."[6]

While describing the process of making Vignettes, Damu said that he told himself, "'Hey, we're not going to overthink it. We're just going to spontaneously make music out of necessity.'"[6]

Citing the Raw Poetic song "Openings" as his favorite song on the album, Damu described the making of Vignettes as a cathartic experience. "Coming home every day, working on this album, and spending every bit of my free time -- if I didn't have that, who knows what I would have been doing? But I needed that distraction from everything that was going on. It needed to take me to that place," he said.[6]

Damu the Fudgemunk releases the bulk of his music through Redefinition Records, a label that he co-owns and operates. The label focuses on releasing vinyl records and cassettes even if the records are also released on CDs.

Influences

Damu has a broad range of influences that he has cited in various interviews. Some of his non-rap influences include Jeff Berlin, James Brown, Bill Bruford, Ron Carter, Phill Collins, Jaco Pastorius, and Frank Zappa.[7]K-Def, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock, have all influenced his production. Damu also cited The Gang Starr Foundation as having a "huge impact" on his career.[3]

Collaborations

In a 2017 interview with Grown Up Rap, journalist Ben Pedroche noted that Damu has only worked with a select group of rappers and asked about his reasons for being so particular. Damu offered the following insight into how he selects his collaborators.

"There's tons of great rappers out there, but it doesn't mean I need to chase them down to work with them and truth be told none of them are approaching me for production either. But, I'm fortunate to have access to the MCs that I do work with. They're all great in their own right and personally some of my favorites. Musically, I don't need anyone else when I collaborate with guys like Insight and Raw Poetic.Both of whom are friends and the rapport calls for better collaborations."[8]

Sampling Philosophy

Damu believes sample-based producers should respect musicians and the work they sample, stating in an interview, "I've learned to respect musicians / art. Since my music is sample based, there has to be an appreciation. Maybe they'll respect us beat makers when we respect them first."[9]

Discography

  • Travel at Your Own Pace (2007)
  • Spare Time (2008)
  • Overtime (2008)
  • ReVISIONS Madvillain (Damu vs Joe Buck) (2009)
  • The Bright Side (2009)
  • Same Beat Project EP (2009)
  • Kilawatt: V1 (2009)
  • How It Should Sound (Promo EP) (2010)
  • How It Should Sound Volumes 1 & 2 (2010)
  • Supply for Demand (2010)
  • Brooklyn Flower (2010)
  • More Supplies (2010)
  • When Winter Comes / Truly Get Yours (2011)
  • OverThrone (Try a Little Skillfulness) / All Green (2011)
  • Faster Rhyme for Self (2011)
  • Kilawatt V1.5 featuring Raw Poetic (2012)
  • Spur Momento Trailer (2013)
  • Public Assembly (2014)
  • Public Assembly Vol.2 (2015)
  • How It Should Sound Vol. 3, 4, and 5 (2015)
  • HISS ABYSS (How It Should Sound) (2015)
  • Untitled Vols. 1 & 2 (2016)
  • Vignettes (2017)
  • The Reflecting Sea (Welcome to a New Philosophy) (2017) w/Raw Poetic
  • Dreams & Vibrations (2018) w/Flex Mathews

References

  1. ^ "Damu playing live music in Washington Square Park, New York City". Live Street Performance. 
  2. ^ "Damu The Fudgemunk | Redefinition Records". Redefinition Records. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b c "Question in the Form of An Answer: An Interview with Damu the Fudgemunk". Passion of the Weiss. 2014-02-13. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "Y Society Travel at Your Own Pace Album Review". Hip-Hop Linguistics. Archived from the original on January 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "World renown DC native debuts "Vignettes," a 2-hour instrumental conce | Redefinition Records". Redefinition Records. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ a b c Sorcinelli, Gino. "Making Music Out of Necessity: The Story Behind Damu The Fudgemunk's "Openings"". Micro-Chop. 
  7. ^ Khan, Saif (2008-03-28). "QUASI.PROTO: Interview with Damu the Fudgemunk". QUASI.PROTO. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Interview: Damu The Fudgemunk & Raw Poetic + Album Stream". Grown Up Rap. 2017-12-08. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "yoyopop! » #012: Damu The Fudgemunk". www.putsonline.co.uk. Retrieved . 

External links



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