"Float" - Loupo x Dope Dee

Loupo has been a spooky talent for many years now, but one trait that really sets him apart is his eagerness to work with other producers and musicians. He's constantly collaborating so he's constantly learning, and that is why his growth curve is still shooting for the sky in 2018. We're not even close to Peak Loupo yet. 

For today's number, he's reached across the continent to join forces with Dope Dee, a Bay Area beatsmith with a lush and inventive sound ... so, a perfect match, really. Another thing these two have in common is Cold Busted Records, a Los Angeles label devoted to instrumental hip hop. 

Almost 20 years after Napster, of course, anyone with a Facebook page thinks they have a record label, so let's be clear: Cold Busted makes actual physical records on cassette, CD and vinyl, and even stocks those products at Fat Beats. They're a discerning operation with real skin in the game.

Among those items at Fat Beats is a ten inch vinyl version of Loupo's 2016 collaboration with BTV superproducer Es-K, "Symbiosis." It's a short set packed with ideas and highly recommended. Es-K, of course, is a big fan of collaboration himself. He was also a fixture on Cold Busted for years, releasing several LPs and curating the monthly instrumental series IWYMI -- "It's What You Make It." That ran for nine volumes and showcased production talent from all around the world. 

Everyone involved benefits from work like that. Using your platform to spotlight other artists is good for your career and good for the culture. Years ago, Roots drummer and international DJ of mystery ?uestlove gave a legendary interview where the broke down some career advice: 

"A lot of people accuse of us over-thinking. And that’s OK. But we looked at every successful artist. We pored over charts in industry magazines going back decades, looking for commonality. And what we found was that anyone who was successful was not isolated. Besides a couple of one-hit wonders in the “60s, every big act was part of a larger movement."

In 2018, you have a lot more options than The Roots did in the early 90's. Your movement, your network, your co-conspirators may turn out to be far afield from the Green Mountains. Sure, the 802 is popping right now, but only in comparison to how quiet it used to be. This is still rocky soil. 

Also, this track absolutely bangs. More on Loupo soon. Remember to check out Joell Ortiz this evening in BTV. 

Justin Boland