During my time covering the Raider Klan I’ve had a lot of people ask me “what’s so exceptional about them?,” or “why are you wasting time covering teenagers when there are great artists, more seasoned artists, putting out high quality projects in 2012?”  My initial response to those people is, well, I cover them too.  I have written reviews and lauded praise on the likes of Ka, Billy Woods, Illogic, El-P, Killer Mike, Jackie Chain, SL Jones and many others this year who have years in the game and release a refined high quality product.    Actually, the only Raider Klan related album that I’ve put up for “Best of a Quarter” honors was SpaceGhost’s Mysterious Phonk, hardly a lo-fi bedroom studio endeavor.

However, with Raider Klan my interest goes a little deeper than just the quality of their product.  Raider Klan represents a group of young people across the country who feel they fit outside of the general rap aesthetics of the mainstream, some of their music – though admittedly not all – attests to this.  I admit there is a lot to sift through with Raider Klan, there are a dozens of members, a t least a couple dozen of whom make music, dozens of mixtapes, thousands of tracks on youtube, lots of klvn, 2.7.5., & BRK handles to sift through on twitter to figure out who’s in, who’s out, who’s really in, and which rappers are the rappers one needs to pay the most attention.  The other aspect that won’t intrigue many of my normal readers is that the Raider Klan as a collective are, generally, fairly disinterested in lyricism for the sake of lyricism.  While it’s hard to speak on them collectively – since there are at least twenty five or thirty of them making music – most of them prize style over substance, and most of their substance strokes are broad and indefinite.  Their primary concern musically is the ultimate quest for the phonk, the ability to convey the appropriate musical vibe the marriage of the vocal performance and the beat.  In an era when so much rap is devoid of a strong relationship with it’s musical ancestry, the Raider Klan members are hyper conscious of their roots, and paying homage to those who came before them.  Where else in 20120 can you hear a Bone Thugs influenced rapper, alongside an Ice Cube influenced rapper, alongside a Boss influenced rapper, over a g-funk track fashioned by a midwest producer and have them all be open and honest about the rappers they’re channeling and who truly influences them.  What’s more impressive is that they manage to do this without sounding like a bunch of dinosaurs trying to revive their youth or a bunch of new jacks sharking an aesthetic without any sense of the history behind it.  For those with whom the 90’s shtick may wear a bit thin, especially those of us who lived through the 90’s first hand, they actually make some very good music that competes with their contemporaries quite well on a modern playing field.

Anyway, the naysayers and detractors have inspired me to make a mix, as have some of the appreciators who don’t keep up with BRK quite as closely as is sometimes necessary to catch all the gems they drop.  First let’s start by stating what this mix is not, it is not a comprehensive mix of the best material from Raider Klan.  There are plenty of Raider Klan artists – some of the best artists in Raider Klan for that matter – who excel at making solo material and choose not to collaborate as frequently as others.  This compilation is unsurprisingly dominated by BRK’s Florida contingent as they represent by far the largest collective of Raider Klan artists living in close proximity to one another.  The second largest group of contributing artists are those out of Memphis as they frequently collaborate with one another and Ethelwulf is obviously one of the most sought after guest spots in the Klan (along with Denzel and Amber).  SpaceGhostPurrp, Key Nyata, Dough Dough, Grandmilly, Sky Lex, and others suffer for their lack of collaborations here despite the fact that they have some of the most interesting solo material in the Klan.  Other artists like Young Renegade, Dirty Redd, as well as many other of the more recent entries into the Klan had material that just didn’t make the cut due to time constraints (I wanted to keep the mix down to roughly the length of a mix cd, I don’t know why… I’m old school like that), sound quality or just because the vibe didn’t quite fit.  I will be following up with a similar compilation of solo tracks next week to highlight some of the other artists.  That said, my favorite moments listening to Raider Klan are most often collaborations between artists with differing styles, different area codes, and divergent influences, that is why this week we’re highlighting the best of Raider Klan posse cuts and collaborations.

1) When We Ride featuring Chris Travis & Amber London
2) Blvcklvnd Souljas featuring Soulja Mook & Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry
3) See You In Hell featuring Grandmilly & Vanzetti
4) Feel Where Am Comin’ From featuring Soulja Mook & Pouya
5) 1017 Goons featuring Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry & Supa Sortahuman
6) Bout It, Bout It featuring Yung Simmie & Dough Dough
7) Westside Dirthy South Klash 1991 featuring Eddy Baker & Ethelwulf
8) Champ’s N G’s featuring Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry, Harvey G, & Lil’ Champ Fway
9) Funk Psalms featuring J-Green & Yung Simmie
10) Push A Muthafucka featuring Ethelwulf & Chris Travis
11) Twistin’ featuring Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry & Lil’ Ugly Mane
12) Black Magic featuring Yung Raw & Ethelwulf
13) Cali Smoke featuring Eddy Baker, Chris Travis, & Sky Lex
14) Trillanation featuring Amber London & Ethelwulf
15) Nigga Like Me featuring Yung Simmie & Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry
16) Ridin’ N Da Back featuring Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry, Amber London, & Ethelwulf
17) 66.6 Syllvblxxs featuring Ethelwulf & J-Green
18) Vicious Flow featuring Nell & Rell
19) I Be Trippin’ Sometimes featuring Soulja Mook & Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry
20) 80 Dime Bagz (Boomin Like Alicia Keys) featuring Chris Travis, Black Krvy, & Ethelwulf
21) Bend Ova Like That featuring SpaceGhostPurrp & Robb Bank$
22) Outro featuring Soulja Mook, Lofty305, Pouya, Yung Raw, Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry, & SpaceGhostPurrp
  1. […] case you missed them, here are my three Raider Klan mixes this year: Klvn Mentality, and No Fakin’ Tha Phonk and Psvlms, Prvyxrs, & Incvntvtixns. And my interviews with the […]

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