[Editor's Note: Spare Notes is a Weekly music feature highlighting outtakes and personal stories from bands who just finished working their asses off to put out new music.]
As a producer, DJ and rapper, Hands leaves his prints all over Soul Projection. The Santa Ana-based MC's second solo effort features a clean collection of a dozen songs. Hands drops the beats on all but two of the album's tracks. His multifaceted approach manifests in laid back rhymes and vibes whether it's on the opener "Real Skills" or "Everything is Not Real." Hands does a lot of heavy lifting on Soul Projection but calls in collaborations whether it's Vel the Wonder lending her rhymes on the jazz flavored "Corpulent Rhymes" or the West Coast sounds of Cloqwise's production on "West West."
The lyrics are clever enough, especially on "Spirit Notes" with rhymes like, "I ain't no Moses / But when I get to flexin' / My rhymes mapquest your ass / In the right direction." With Hands guiding the way, he's hoping all roads lead to Soul Projection.
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On the favorite beat he produced:
"Definitely the instrumental for 'Free Your Mind' is my favorite beat on the album, a smooth blend of classic and relevant samples. I took the modern approach with the tempo and percussion, while maintaining the bouncy 90's hip hop vibe by using all records and one synth sample. I really dig this beat because usually you can hear influences in my production but I feel this track truly represents my essence."
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On the song that sums up the new album:
""Real Skills" for the most part sums up what was going through my head while I recorded this album: rolling with the changes, music for a brighter tomorrow, and preserving a hip-hop type of vibe. It's what I feel hip-hop should sound like: music from the soul, lessons from experiences, and still maintaining the elements that compose the culture. The listener can feel where I'm coming from once they slap that joint and that why I have it first on the line up."
Hands performs with Atlast and Linoski at GCS Clothing, 209 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Fri. Jan. 11. 7-9 p.m. All Ages. Free.