For the Dec / Jan issue's Footnotes, where we annotate tracks that help define one of the featured artists, we couldn't resist tapping into the wealth of knowledge contained within Future Brown itself. Here, the production powerhouse's four members—Fatima Al Qadiri, J-Cush, and Nguzunguzu's Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda—collaboratively call out their favorite songs from the global street music styles they love so dearly. Read The FADER's interview with the group here.
Dizzee Rascal, "I Luv U" [XL Recordings, 2003]
Early grime was fresh and honest. It came from the heart. Dizzee wasn't trying to emulate or ride another sound, and the result was something really unique. He pushed the garage sound forward. Producers like Wiley, Danny Weed, Skepta, Youngstar, Jammer, Ruff Sqwad, and Black Ops—they all created their own takes on the style. These people and crews were huge inspirations to our approach as a group. Dizzee's "I Luv U" was a seminal single in the early years, off his debut album Boy In Da Corner. What's even cooler is Dizzee produced the majority of that album in school, before his 18th birthday.
Young Chop f. Johnny May Cash, Y.B., King Rell & Lil Durk, "Ballin" [Internet, 2013]
This is one of our favorite tracks from Chicago: Lil Durk and the group 8TMG on a Young Chop cut. We really respect everyone on here. All the verses are really melodic and heavy-hitting, and Johnny May Cash's hook is super catchy. We got to work with 8TMG and Young Chop in the studio—Chop's work ethic is amazing.
DJ Marfox, "Lucky Punch" [Lit City Trax, 2014]
DJ Marfox was an integral member in the OG kuduro crew DJs Do Guetto. From his home in the suburbs of Lisbon, he has been producing banging tracks in Fruity Loops across a multitude of styles and humbly pioneering various regional sounds, from kuduro (exemplified here on "Lucky Punch," around 140 bpm) to tarraxinha (around 97 bpm) and funana (around 160 bpm). Whatever the tempo, he knows how to coax your body into dancing.
Vybz Kartel f. Spice, "Romping Shop" [Tad's International, 2009]
This is a timeless dancehall riddim that we all really love. It was an international hit and one of the best dancehall duets between a girl and a guy MC. The heavy lyrical sparring between Spice and Vybz Kartel is the type of dialogue that we hope to reach between vocalists and MCs on our own tracks.
R. Kelly f. Keri Hilson, "Number One" [RCA, 2009]
It's definitely hard to choose a single R&B track because it's a genre that isn't defined by any key music elements except for "a soulful voice." But this track is a great one. It was written by Keri Hilson and performed by both her and R. Kelly as a beautiful duet about a much explored topic.
Three 6 Mafia f. Remy Ma, "Pussy Got Ya Hooked" [Sony BMG, 2005]
We feel like Juicy J and DJ Paul's production style was hugely influential to rap and pop music being how it is today. With those riding hi-hats and infectious string samples, you can't go wrong. And the Remy Ma feature on this track takes it over the top!
Dvice, "Esta Noche" [Global Boyz, 2011]
The production and vocals on this are ice cold. Dvice sounds incredible. We actually played "Esta Noche" to Maluca when we worked on a track together as a guide for the style of reggaeton we found inspirational. The production of reggaeton sounds so much more like grime these days, minus the beats. Sonically speaking, they both live in the freezer and exploit unique synths.