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Loop Library with El RTNC


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Last April when I first heard Your Old Droog’s “Nutty Bars,” my initial reaction was, “Yo, who is this dude? He’s nice!” My second reaction, which came almost simultaneously, was, “Yo, who did this beat? Shit is sick!” Turns out the man responsible for lacing Droog up with the ill sounds for not only “Nutty Bars” but his entire debut EP was El RTNC (above left). And quiet as kept, he’s also been producing heat for a host of other popular New York MCs for a minute now (Action Bronson, De La Soul, Mos Def, Homeboy Sandman, Timeless Truth, etc.)

As El RTNC continues to prove he’s one of the dopest sample-based producers in the Big Apple right now through not only his beats for Droog (cop The Nicest EP out now and check out “Have a Nice Day”) but also with his recent slew of instrumental releases, we thought it would be appropriate to feature him for our latest Loop Library. So we reached out to give him a chance to showcase his eclectic ear and keen sampling skills (note—he makes all his beats start to finish in Pro Tools) as well as share some personal stories and perspectives. Read and listen below as RTNC walks us through five choice samples—and yes, expect the unexpected.

1. Blossom Toes “The Remarkable Saga of the Frozen Dog”

El RTNC: “I’ll start it off with this ’cause I think it tells the real RTNC mission over the last year or two. Before then, I’d make beats then take breaks to dig, or more than likely, procrastinate. But then I went through a break-up that rattled my whole world. Being together for 9 years made it difficult adjusting to regular life again, but I knew when I put my mind on the beats, it was pure therapy. The anxiety and depression would vanish.

“That brings us back to the subject at hand. Places to build and things to do—especially after having your world rocked. This piece meant a lot to me. There’s joints that I know no one will pick cause they’re too left field, but I feel that those contain the true RTNC essence. I love how there are dogs barking and people whistling. This is probably from a spot downtown on one of the many trips 88-Keys and I would take to dig—besides for Polo [Laughs].”

El RTNC “Places To Build”


2. Galaxy Lin “I Know My Baby”

“Ok, so this one gets personal. Other than me probably being out at a club listening to great disco and house and then subliminally wanting to get back and make something a la Daft Punk or Justice—the drums have the thump of the latter—I think I chose this record cause of what homeboy is saying on the record, and then flipped into the beat. Peace to my mellow Eddie Ill who gave me the nickname Fellipe Manny Disco [Laughs].

“I wanted to get back with her so much I think it weaved itself into everything I did. No we didn’t and haven’t, but I have all these crazy ass beats to show for it. And crazy as it may sound, I thank her for it ’cause without that split I don’t think I would have become so productive.”

El RTNC “Throws Her Arms Around Me”


3. Yellow Magic Orchestra “Tighten Up”

“I’m a big fan of the ‘Tighten Up’ record and the many interpretations that exist of it, especially this one and the version by The Majestics. That’s another treat on the low for you. I think sometimes people might think I’m ‘this’ but when really I’m ‘that.’ I love to bug out and dance, man. There’s nothing like good tunes to dance to, there’s a certain magic that happens. This mysterious vibration enters your mind, and before you know it you’re tapping hands and feet, and in doing so, altering your body chemistry. Then if you’re really feeling it, you’re on your feet cuttin’ it up and maybe meeting the mother of your children [Laughs].

“This music stuff is nothing but a way for me to think things through, man. It’s high science and magic. The unseen that creates so much of what we see, touch and emotionally feel in turn. Go listen to Stereolab as well [Laughs].”

El RTNC “Dance Party In The Orient”


4. Hamilton Bohannon “Save Their Souls”

“Now everyone has this record or should at least know of it, and sometimes I like to go back and give my take on a record that’s been used before just to see what happens. I think this one was just me really wanting to use the violin part that Large Pro worked so greatly. I’m so happy to have sort of kind of worked with that amazing man via the Timeless Truth Rock-It Science LP by the way.

“I think I was running low on ammo this day, but needed to work to get my mind off something. Last year, I worked so much I ended up with 600-plus beats when it was all said and done. My man Droog is probably the only one that’s heard them all. He really made me step my game up. Working with an extraordinary talent like that will force you to do so. Make it so!”

El RTNC “Save Our Souls”


5. Osanna “Mirror Train”

“So this one kind of explains another mainframe in which I create—what would sound good in X-Y-Z scene of a film. For this one I think I was imagining Stuntman Mike from Death Proof—Tarantino of course—getting into his car and turning on the radio, and what you’d hear as he turns the key and revs up. It also had me think of The Royal Tenenbaums scene were Owen Wilson’s character Eli Cash is pulling up to pick up ‘product,’ but instead of The Clash playing it’d be this. Kind of would love to hear Jay Dee, Dilla Dawg on this one, too. Man, I miss him. He’s still here though.”

El RTNC “The Wow Factor”

Listen to more El RTNC on Soundcloud.


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Catch up on all NahRight features HERE.

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