Limited Edition Tape
If you've ever heard the term "period piece" used in the context of a movie synopsis, then you will likely find it easy to understand the concept behind a project soon to be released by Los Angeles based producer/composer/recording artist XL Middleton, under the alias “Big China Mack.”
Deeply inspired by hip hop's west coast "G-funk" subgenre, XL spent his youth crafting a sound full of the heavy handclaps, synth bass lines, and warm chord progressions that characterized the style, without delving into the misogynistic, crime-laden subject matter it became notorious for. Now, nearly twenty years after G-funk's decline, XL is seeking to pay homage to the style by taking on a role and playing it in much the same way an actor would a starring feature. He is creating a bonafide 1990's west coast hip hop album, replete with the street-savvy tales and exaggerated cadence that many of its most legendary artists once delivered. The final result pays tribute not only to G-funk, but to the sample-heavy sound of early 1990’s west coast rap, pre G-funk, pioneered by artists like Compton’s Most Wanted, NWA, and Ant Banks. The songs on the Big China Mack album individually sound like they could have been released anywhere between 1991 and 1995. Abiding by logic that many would consider a violation of hip hop's complex system of rules, he raps on this project about a life he never lived; the "gangsta" life. He does it not to convince you that he is truly a veteran of the streets, but to pay tribute to a style of music he fell in love with as a child. XL is not trying to make you believe that Big China Mack is akin to his real life any more than Joe Pesci tried to make you believe the character of Nicky Santoro is akin to his.